Girls from three schools came together as part of a new academy to boost their learning.

Newly launched Roedean Academy encourages girls from independent school Roedean and state schools Blatchington Mill in Hove and Longhill in Rottingdean to think beyond what they learn in the classroom and the GCSE exam curriculum.

The academy has run throughout the spring term and brought together 50 girls in Years 10 and 11 from the three schools.

The students enjoyed working with different teachers and developing new skills as they took part in English, maths and science masterclasses.

They also attended a series of weekly enrichment classes, chosen from classics, data science, English literature, history and Russian.

Talking about the experience, Longhill pupil Abby Bhardwa said: “It made me realise that the best opportunities for me are not in my comfort zone.”

Blatchington Mill pupil Sumaiya Leema-Ali said: “It has made me think that GCSEs are not all about stress, but a journey to success.”

In addition to the weekly programme, the academy girls were also able to join the Roedean schoolgirls for the Roedean Festival Celebrating Women in March, where they heard a variety of speakers including scientist and peer Dame Mary Archer and stage and screen actress Virginia McKenna.

To celebrate women collectively, the Roedean Academy girls joined Roedean’s sixth form and Year 11 to form the letters of #BeBold in the quad and this moment was captured by a drone camera.

The academy also hopes to get students to think more about where their future might lead and to foster a passion for learning.

Dr Ross Barrand, head of Russian, said: “Roedean is delighted to host girls at local state schools as part of our academy – giving the girls the chance to think beyond their taught GCSE subjects was great, and, for me, it was brilliant to be able to share my passion for a language which few students have the opportunity to study.”