Since September 2012 we have been using a system that can cope with a larger school and its varying range of abilities and needs. We have four schools within the main school, each similar in size to small primary schools. We aim to build on the personal approach that many of our parents tell us their children miss when moving to large high schools.
Our four schools are called Angelou, Russell, Turing and Ellis. Each of these is named after an individual who represents qualities that inspire us. Together they reflect the hopes and aspirations we share with our students. Each of these schools has its own page on the website where you can find out more about the history behind the names, and read about what is happening within each school.
In practice, our structure means we can track and nurture your child’s progress faster and more accurately than before. Each school has a Head of School, a Deputy Head and either a School Leader and Student Manager or two School Leaders. Their focus is to ensure that progress, attendance, dress code, behaviour and punctuality meet our high expectations. A school typically contains around 340 students. These sub-divide into smaller year based tutor groups. Students within their school meet those from other years as occasion demands in a more vertical way of working. This provides greater leadership and developmental opportunities within an identified unit – learning with and from peers as well as from older/younger students.
The pastoral system is faultless.
Our well-established smaller schools system has been a great success. They have grown as intimate, supportive communities where students are known and cared for. All four schools have developed their own strong identity and take pride in how well they are doing. There is a weekly assembly to celebrate success and reflect on how to be the best of ourselves.
Each school has a base where students can go to get help, find advice and share their concerns. School base staff deal with emotional and other pastoral issues, liaising with external agencies when required while more complex issues are dealt with by the Deputy Head of School and Head of School. Our school also has a Counsellor on site as part of our overall well-being support for students.