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Winter Edition 2016

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EDUCATION ‘LEANING IN’ FROM AN EARLY AGE By Jane Lunnon - Head of Wimbledon High School 6 “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” So says Sheryl Sandberg in her best-selling book, ‘Lean In’. It’s a sentiment that in a girls’ school we cannot emphasise enough. Championing risk-taking, getting stuck in, and picking yourself up from any failures along the way, are all vital in preparing our students for the world of work beyond the classroom – keys for building the resilience that young women will need as they adapt to a changing workplace, strike out in business and make a success of their lives and careers. Thus, we have run a number of initiatives, such as ‘fail better week’, which made a splash precisely because of that use of the ‘f’ word. For careers-specific events, it’s never too early to start young girls thinking about their futures, introducing them to inspirational women who can talk about what they have achieved and the hurdles they have faced. Monica Galetti, of MasterChef fame and now poised to open her first restaurant in central London, spoke eloquently and passionately to our girls recently about following their dreams and not showing fear. A STEM careers evening highlighted to girls the many and varied opportunities in science, engineering, maths and technology and BizWorld sessions give practical experience of the world of entrepreneurship. Alongside all this, we should all be giving children the space and time to find out where their passions lie: whether on the sports field, in a coding club or learning to play a beautiful piece of music. This will feed into their success and hopefully we will one day soon get to the stage where, as Sheryl Sandberg describes: “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” 7


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