We have high academic expectations and we encourage pupils to be ambitious in their academic aims. This ambition extends beyond the accumulation of strong GCSE and A Level grades. We believe we are training children for life by encouraging the desire to sustain learning beyond the school environment. We hope and expect our pupils to maintain that attitude at university and for the rest of their lives.
Underpinning our curriculum is the philosophy that happy pupils relish new challenges and are always excited to learn new things. We believe in reward and encouragement, and we ensure pupils are aware of the progress they are making.
The Director of Studies works with subject teachers to ensure consistently high standards of teaching - one of the main aspects of the school most highly regarded by our parents. Differentiation is built into every lesson, ensuring that the content, structure, activities and any relevant homework all take account of different abilities and different learning styles.
Relatively small class sizes enable teaching staff to focus on individuals to greater effect; in the younger years pupils might expect to find themselves in a group of about twenty. In the Sixth Form, A Level classes rarely exceed fifteen and are often much smaller.
Supported by specialist teaching and careful guidance, students are encouraged to develop a capacity for self-motivated study, to question and think for themselves and engage with every aspect of their work. Academic progress is tracked carefully and extra help put in place when required.
“The school provides strong support and guidance for pupils. This fully supports its aim to develop every pupil’s confidence and self-esteem. Staff know their pupils especially well.”
ISI Inspection Report 2016
As pupils mature, they are challenged to grow in independence, to establish a greater responsibility for their own learning and to set a good example for younger pupils.
Opportunities for responsibility include becoming a prefect, chapel steward or librarian, and joining the school council or green council. Senior students take the lead in co-ordinating charitable fundraising, the student newspaper, plus sport and music groups.
Standards of behaviour are expected to be high, but the emphasis is on encouragement. We expect students to do well and we take every opportunity to congratulate and reward them. High expectations and a culture of praise are central to the success of our pupils.