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Wakefield Girls’ High School

Learning Enrichment

Ethos of the Department

Learning Enrichment plays a pivotal role in the schools development. Consequently, it is relevant to each student and every subject department. It is strategically managed by the Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning) and the Learning Enrichment Coordinator.

Learning Enrichment works within and in many cases beyond the government’s framework for Able, Gifted and Talented.  Able and Gifted girls are identified through academic achievement and objective external assessment data, notably MIDYIS, whilst Talented girls are those who excel within a sporting or creative environment, either within or outside of school.

This identification allows for all teachers and departments to implement teaching techniques and strategies, which offer a curriculum where all girls are able to be stretched and challenged to achieve the highest possible academic and individual success. This is illustrated in many ways, ranging from differentiation and personalisation in the classroom to schemes of work which emphasize the importance of higher order skills and independent thinking and learning.

Learning Enrichment also recognises that students will, at different times, display notably advanced ability in one subject area or skill. These students also need to be provided with enough opportunity to explore their potential and to encourage their talents both inside and outside of the classroom. The Enrichment Programme, together with the established extra-curricular activities, will support and foster the abilities of these and all students.


The level of challenge and the range of outstanding lessons that each girl receives at WGHS is very difficult to explain in words. Therefore there is Teaching and Learning Twitter page which shares examples of what is happening in lessons during the week and offers helpful advice throughout the year for parents and students. Should you wish to follow please search for @WGHS_TL

The Barbara Hepworth Lectures

Girls will have the opportunity to attend three lectures over the course of the year within school that will be delivered by nationally and internationally recognized academics and experts in various fields. 

Last year the school was privileged to welcome Professor AC Grayling who spoke to the girls about the Philosophy of happiness. This year we are welcoming Professor Martin Smith, Head of Politics at the University of York to speak to the girls about the current political landscape both at home and abroad. We will also be welcoming Dr. Michael Scott, Classics Lecturer at Warwick University and BBC documentary maker including ‘Italy’s Invisible Cities’ and ‘Rome’s Invisible City’.

The Mini Hepworth Lectures

Girls in Year 7 – Year 9 are invited to attend a series of lectures given by Sixth Form girls who have completed their EPQ qualification. The lectures are given at least once a half term and give the girls lower down the school the opportunity to listen to our Sixth Form girls talk on something that feel passionately about and have worked extremely hard on. It also provides the girls a standard of work to aspire to as they continue their journey through the school.

Visits and Trips

All departments offer and run a wide range of trips over all year groups which allow the girls to have firsthand experience of many aspects of the curriculum they follow. The Learning Enrichment Department is currently working closely with the New College of Humanities in London and arranges trips to the College to attend their open lecture series. Most recently we attended a lecture given by Richard Dawkins on Evolutionary Biology for the Non-Scientist. This visits will continue year on year.

Governors' Essay Prize

This is the first time that the Governors will award a prize for the best essay by a girl in WGHS. The Prize aims to encourage essay writing as a form of exploring ideas and challenging conventional thinking on a range of issues. Essays will be judged on their ability to be fluent, imaginative, thoroughly researched and well argued.

The top prize will be £100 and will be awarded on Speech Day.

There will also be a £50 prize for the best essay in each of the other age groups, and a £25 pound prize for the runner up in each category.


The students at WGHS participate in a number of local and national competitions, which allow them to test their ability and resolve against other students from around the Wakefield area and beyond. This includes the Engineering Education Scheme (EES) and the Rotary Technology competition. 

Teaching Staff

Mr D Sheehan (Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator)

Key Facts

  • Provides girls with opportunities to stretch and challenge
  • Opportunities to extend learning beyond the curriculum
  • The Barbara Hepworth Lecture Series welcomes speakers from a wide variety of fields
  • Department recognises and addresses specifically the gender needs of girls
  • New Governors' Essay Prize - exploring ideas and challenging conventional thinking