From the Head
I have great pleasure in welcoming you to St Christopher’s School. What an exciting time for you and your daughter! You are today making one of the most important decisions as a parent: you are choosing her school. I hope that exploring our website will encourage you to find out more about St Christopher’s.
At St Christopher’s School, girls are celebrated as individuals; they feel supported and challenged, to thrive and be the best version of themselves today and tomorrow. Our school is a home, full of children, filled with all the liveliness and noise that goes with that!
We combine intellectual pursuits with the joys of childhood. A day in the life of a St Christopher’s girl would see her debate philosophy questions, zoom around the playground in her cargo shorts at break, explore nature on Hampstead Heath with her friends, play chess , dance, meditate, write acrostics for the school magazine, or prepare cards for our partner schools. Creativity and curiosity are at the heart of our education; I believe they can be antidotes to perfectionism, giving children space to think and reflect. Our pupils enjoy understanding the world around them, they are ambitious, for themselves and others, always supported by our strong and unique pastoral ethos. We host an academic forum for parents, and two of our teachers run emotional literacy support sessions – these two things alone speak volumes about our aspirations for our children!
Our forward-thinking, distinctive and creative curriculum motivates our pupils to broaden their minds and to push their academic boundaries. The education we offer is outstanding and ambitious, and prepares our girls for a wide range of top senior schools both in and out of London. Our girls develop rigour, problem-solving skills and intellectual inquiry. I am forever amazed by the verve, curiosity and audacity our pupils display; I regularly receive post from the girls, as well as frequent visits to my study with suggestions as to how the school might be improved.
As well as being an educator and Head I am a psychotherapist; a profession which has given me intimate insights into the impact of childhood experiences into adulthood. After dedicating 20 years to education and pastoral care in senior schools, working with younger children was a natural and obvious evolution.
I know these are formative years; our pastoral care is fundamental to what we do here at St Christopher’s, helping our pupils to build up the social and emotional literacy which are essential for learning and life, to support future good mental health. Our approach, therefore, is a holistic one: we work with the children, with the teachers, with parents, with families to promote self-empowerment, self-care, inclusion, kindness, compassion and open-mindedness.
Play is absolutely essential for learning about the world, as well as providing all the benefits of having fun! It introduces new experiences, opportunities for children to take risks, and helps us to tackle issues which might worry children. At St Christopher’s, our pupils can have adventures in lessons as well as in the playground and after school, in one of our many co-curricular activities. They flourish into risk-takers, loyal friends, and resilient children. Our co-curriculum enables our pupils to discover new passions. By the time they leave St Christopher’s, our girls have developed curiosity as well as commitment and a sense of community.
Visitors often comment on the positive energy that runs through the school. I only need to pop into the corridor to hear laughter and joy. The quality of conversations tells you much about a school and about the attentiveness of teachers to their pupils.
Girls remember their happy years at St Christopher’s: they make lasting memories and friendships. It is always heart-warming and humbling when alumnae tell us about the wonderful things they are achieving as teenagers or as adults: St Christopher’s remains a very special place in their heart as they go about their lives.
I hope you will come and visit us soon. Only then, once you have met our staff and our pupils, will you truly experience how wonderful our school is. We look forward to welcoming you!
Ms Sandrine Paillasse