Students at Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton had the opportunity to learn the Haka from one of New Zealand’s rugby forwards.

The traditional Maori dance has been described as “involving large amounts of shouting, as well as the use of the arms and legs to intimidate the opponent”, fitting in with the mood to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The visit from Alicia Saila was the final event of a week celebrating women.

Girls arriving at school were asked to write a wish for women to attach to “Wishing Trees” in the school entrance hall.

They were also encouraged to wear something purple or bring in a pack of sanitary pads to donate to the charity Bloody Good Period.

A panel of five exceptional women from very different walks of life talked to the girls about their experiences of being a woman in the workplace and the obstacles they have had to overcome to get there.

Panellist included Kay Hallsworth, Commander, Royal Navy, Alicia Saili, from Harlequins Ladies Rugby Team, Michele Elman, a Body Confidence Coach, Preeti Virdee, Rugby Journalist and Polly Highton, actor and activist.

Two of the most important lessons learnt from the panelists were “be inclusive and authentic and true to yourself” and “don’t care what people think of you; just be yourself and be confident in that.”

International Women’s Day 2019 used the campaign theme #BalanceforBetter, encouraging people to push for a more gender balanced world.