Vision and values

Mission Statement

Ark Helenswood empowers students to excel academically, have the self-confidence to realise their aspirations and be outstanding members of their community.

Ark Helenswood Academy: Inspire. Achieve. Excel.  

The History of Helenswood

Helenswood Academy has a history stretching back in one guise or another to 1871. In 1911 though, the then Education Committee took the decision to establish the ‘Hastings Secondary School for Girls’ and the firm foundations of Helenswood Academy were laid.

Many of the current traditions are deeply rooted in the school’s history: our uniform colours were established in 1969 – groovy, as they might have said in those days!  A school which trained pupils as teachers was established on the current site as long ago as 1906, and we still train teachers today. Performing arts is also a key component of the school’s history: school choirs from Helenswood have always performed in Hastings from singing for the Prince of Wales in 1927, performing a show on the pier for the First World War charities to regular Arts Days during the time of both Miss Wild (headmistress from 1983 – 1992) and Mrs Blackburn 1992-2006.

The most important feature of the school, however, has always been high academic outcomes for girls. At the opening meeting of the very first school the Rev Foyster said that it was important for all those involved in school to ‘make (a) tradition, and let it be the very best and highest, so those who came up after them might have to keep it up.’ This school is the number one choice for girls in Hastings, and a tradition of academic attainment is tradition we work hard to maintain.