The question of what we, as a school, want to be and what values we cherish and want to develop in our children has been part of an ongoing discussion by our staff, our children and the wider community. This came into sharper focus during the run up to the Education Scotland Inspection in 2023.
Our longer day, smaller class sizes and lots of staff contact together with our beautiful campus allow us the space to develop our children in ways that are not always open to the schools. Extended breaks, eating with staff at lunchtime and the huge variety of musical opportunities and evening after-school clubs make this an incredibly dynamic place to be, but also one where we have the time and space as staff to really get to know our children.
The Inspection Report 2023 by Education Scotland highlights the mutual respect that our children have for each other and our staff. Children are more than just pupils, they are valued members of our community.
We work hard to provide opportunities to contribute in weekly debates, school plays and recitals, during lessons and on the sports field. We encourage our children to develop their resilience and independence through a range of boarding experiences and we even have the P3s camping on the Headmaster’s lawn.
Being kind, being respectful of each other and being aware that we exist as part of a wider community are values that are very important to us and we hope it runs through in all that we do. In the classroom, one of our aims is to develop children as more independent learners.
A few years ago, we set up the Curriculum Leaders group. Staff from all faculties, the pre-prep and nursery meet together each week to develop a whole school approach to improvement and raising attainment at all levels. We recently finished reviewing what we teach and when at our school. Currently, we are working to develop our skills in self evaluation and reflection, allowing us to more effectively teach and differentiate according to the needs of each learner.
The school also has a similar team of Pastoral Leaders who meet weekly and have responsibility for developing pastoral initiatives in the school and supporting form teachers and other staff in keeping an eye on the welfare of each child in the school.
It is clear to us that education in the 21st century is about more than what happens in an academic lesson in a classroom. It is about developing our children to equip them with communication skills, resilience and flexibility so that they can find their place in an ever changing world.
Anjali Dholakia, Academic Deputy Head