Education Choices AUTUMN 2021
TH E KEY TO YO U R CH ILD’ S SUCCESS
BLACK HISTORY MONTH Celebrations at Swaffield School, Wandsworth
CLASSROOMS OF THE FUTURE
Interview Dr. Sandie Okoro
Leading the way on the global stage Dr. Sandie Okoro discusses the importance of using her ‘voice’ to support gender and racial equality
High Mistress at St Paul’s Girls’ School, Sarah Fletcher, discusses introducing a multi-modal approach to GCSEs
BLACK BRISTOL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME KICKS OFF!
Forty students join £1m diversity initiative
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL – INCLUDING MAINTAINED AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS PLUS A SAVILLS PROPERTY UPDATE
fir r 10 st % cl of as f s
Every Saturday 12pm - 1pm : Adults 1pm - 1:30pm : B Troupe (Under 3 years old) 1:30pm - 2pm : G Troupe (3-5 years old) 2pm - 3pm : J Troupe (5-10 year olds)
FROM THE FOUNDER
Dear Readers, I am thrilled that so many leading experts, schools and universities feature in this very diverse edition. We are honoured to include Dr. Sandie Okoro and also my old EMAG partner, Val Crolle, among many... We hope you enjoy reading this inspiring edition! Email: email@example.com
‘Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you have always imagined.’ Winnie the Pooh
Reading Corner Winter Warmers for early teens The Percy Jackson Series: these books are action packed and would be great for anyone who likes Greek mythology. Suitable for girls and boys aged 9+ years.
Author: Rick Riordan
The Explorer: a plane crashes in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest with a group of children onboard. This follows their tale of fighting for survival. Can be slow at times, but worth sticking with it. Suitable for boys and girls aged 9+ years.
Toffee: heart-warming, touching book about a girl who runs away from her abusive father. The girl finds safety in an unlikely friendship. Suitable for boys and girls aged 13+ years.
Author: Sarah Crossan
Love, Secret Santa: this is a teen romance that can melt your heart like Christmas pudding. Suitable for girls aged 10+ years.
Author: S.A. Domingo
When the Sky Falls: an emotional rollercoaster about an angry, out of control boy who has been sent to the city during World War II. Suitable for boys and girls aged 10+ years.
Author: Phil Earle
Author: Katherine Rundell
The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks: helps young girls navigate through the challenging chapter of secondary school. Suitable for girls aged 9+ years.
Author: Katie Kirby
Spylark: a boy uncovers a terrorist plot and must stop it before it is too late… Suitable for boys and girls aged 10+ years.
Author: Danny Rurlander
The Wolf Wilder: Feo and her mother take in wolves that have been treated badly. Their job is to set them into the wilderness to let them roam free, but a dangerous man has kidnapped Feo’s mother and is threatening to kill the wolves.
Suitable for boys and girls aged 11+ years.
Author: Katherine Rundell
The Hunger Games: this sci-fi novel follows contestants from rural areas fighting to the death. The winner receives riches, food and electricity for its villages. Suitable for Girls and boys aged 11+ years.
Author: Susan Collins
By (Mini) Chloe Stewart
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UMN 2021 | 3
03 Reading Corner: Winter Warmers for teenagers
A young reader, Chloe, makes some useful book recommendations for the winter
06 Inspiring Our Early Years For an Unknown Future
Tadpoles Nursery emphasises the art of play to ensure the next generation flourishes
07 Marmalade School nurseries are expanding!
Marmalade Duck nursery has opened near Holland Park
08 Pointe Black
An inspiring Black ballet company championing diversity
09 Learning is an Adventure
Falcons Prep introduces its exciting ethos for its new Reception class
10 Creating opportunity and nurturing talent in every individual Edgeborough’s Rising Star awards
11 Global Be Well Day
Prince’s Garden Preparatory School dedicates a full day to wellbeing
12 Welcome to Sutton High where courage, truth and joy flourish An independent school for girls in Sutton, Surrey Education Corner Podcast Falcons Prep’s Miss Oliva Buchanan
13 The Lost Generation? Let’s not write off a generation of learners
Nottingham Girls’ High School supports its pupils during Covid-19 pandemic
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST SPECIAL FEATURE: 14-21 Education Choices Podcast Interview with Dr. Sandie Okoro
4 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
22 Modelling a democratic culture Putney High (GDST) embrace and welcome their student voice
23-24 Inspiring Minds
Latymer Upper have increased their bursary provision and celebrate the success of their Inspiring Minds campaign
25 THIS is Dyslexia
The definitive guide to the untapped power of dyslexic thinking and its vital role in our future
26 Supporting young people from the very beginning
Lancing College works hard to make new pupils feel at home
Author, Karen McCombie, on the seismic shift from primary to secondary school
29 Mental Health Issues and Measures to Support Young People Surbiton High continues to take big steps to strive towards supporting its students
30-31 Burgess Hill Girls’ 2022 BOLD Award
A fully funded place at Sixth Form available exclusively for state school students
32 Avoiding gender stereotypes and preconceptions
Wetherby Senior are educating their pupils to encourage empathy and resilience
34 What are the benefits of taking the IB?
The IB offers students at Box Hill many opportunities
In the Autumn issue… 44-45 Thinking Globally
35 Education, Assessment, and Classroom of the Future
Latymer Upper are preparing students to study abroad
46 Adjusting to a New World
Merchant Taylors’ are rethinking their careers programme
Re-evaluating the GCSE curriculum and introducing a multi-modal approach
36-37 Reflections of an A Level student in the second year of COVID-19 How were students affected that took their exams this summer?
47-48 Black History Month Celebrations at Swaffield School
Miss Val Crolle leads assemblies educating the children
38 ‘Should I stay or should I go now?’ Changing school for Sixth form: what are the benefits?
39 Empathy and understanding in our future career paths
Berkhamsted Sixth Formers are being prepared for their roles in the future
40 Preparing students for the future... The outstanding Careers programme at Reed’s School truly sets them apart
42 A Modern Sixth Form for Tomorrow’s Leaders
Thinking about the future... Excitement on the Sunshine Coast! Eastbourne College’s important role in the town’s renaissance
43 Preparing for jobs in the future
New University of Exeter foundation programmes to widen participation in maths, engineering and physical sciences
48 Celebrating Black History Month at Alleyn’s School
The Minority Students Union have worked hard to explain its importance to fellow students
49 Black Bristol Scholarship Programme kicks off!
Forty students join £1m diversity initiative
50 The equal-access university
Arden University welcomes ethnic diversity
51 Supporting students on the autistic spectrum
University of Chester uses key funds allowing for smoother transitions Embracing Social Inclusion Wrexham Glyndwr University leads the way
52 How to cope with living away from home?
Top tips to help freshers settle at university
53 Mental illness: raising awareness and support
Anxiety UK’s research into growing mental health challenges for young people
54 Staying healthy and happy
Tips if you are struggling with overwhelming thoughts post-lockdown
55 Are You a Good Listener?
Being an active and constructive listener
56-57 COZYING UP
Top tips to address the long nights and stay warm with winter looming
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL 58-60 Maintained School Options 61-64 Independent School Options 65 Research reveals value in Sussex property market
Savills reveals surge in interest in Sussex properties
66-69 Independent School Options
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UMN 2021 | 5
Inspiring Our Early Years For an Unknown Future Tadpoles Nursery emphasises the art of play to ensure the next generation flourishes It is our belief that if we want the world to change we must begin with the teaching in the very young. This is the moment where our minds are the most open and the most receptive, where we see the world around us without judgement, and where we are able to ask questions without fear or embarrassment. Ecology and Climate Change, Equal Thinking, Care and Kindness within our communities – the list goes on – will only be positively affected if we educate our children from the beginning, giving them the imagination, tools and skills at an early age. Neil Postman wrote: ‘Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.’ It is this exact sentiment that we need to keep in our minds when looking at how we approach every area of our children’s early education. If we give them the
skills to question, to problem solve, to recognise and celebrate their differences, to listen to and to respect their different opinions, to understand and value their different emotions and realise that all emotions are equally valid – rather than pushing the emphasis on constant happiness – we will be giving them the skills that will help them to prepare for the future with resilience. We believe that the most inspiring way of teaching these invaluable lessons is not through ‘forced learning’ but through the art of play. This was recognised in ancient times by Plato: ‘Do not keep children to their
6 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
studies by compulsion but by play.’ Children’s play has an imaginative and creative flow which leads to discovery and problem solving. The forced learning of phonics and numbers can kill the joy of literature and numeracy. The use of stories, songs, rhymes, drama all the time, even for daily requests, will enthuse a child with a love of words – and the exciting environment around us with all its rich mathematical content, can stimulate a love of and show the child the necessity of numbers. It is the children who will mould the future of our world, but it is for us to inspire them with the skills to create that future. BY FRANCESCA SHORT, Registrar at Tadpoles Nursery www.tadpolesnursery.com TURN TO PAGE 9 to read about the new reception at Falcons Prep, Twickenham
Marmalade School nurseries are expanding! The Marmalade Duck nursery has opened near Holland Park
Marmalade School nurseries are expanding north of the river! The Marmalade Duck opened in September 2021 and is situated in a large hall with a wonderful garden. The nursery also benefits from being near Holland Park for forest school time and much more. Marmalade School nurseries was set up in 2004 by Rozzy Hyslop, previously a primary and special needs teacher, for her son Orlando. 17 years later there are now 5 schools, all Outstanding, the latest one being The Marmalade Duck. The Marmalade staff want
the best for every child in their nurseries. They aim to prepare the children for life in the everchanging world in which they are growing up in. The Marmalade team aims to educate to a high standard, but also ensure that the children have an awareness of the importance of social and emotional wellbeing. Young children do not develop in a fixed way. Their development is like a spider’s web with many strands, not a straight line. The Marmalade team, taking this into account, carefully plan, sequence, and evaluate activities to suit the needs of their groups and ensure that they deliver an ambitious curriculum. Through play and our varied guided activities, we help the children develop both their social skills as well as being a vehicle for learning in all areas. Our low child-to-staff ratios and experienced staff enables us to provide high quality care and education. Each child and family are
unique and have their own starting points when joining the Marmalade community. Marmalade Schools aim to meet the needs of ALL the children and to respect each child’s family and heritage. A strong and respectful partnership sets the scene for children to thrive in the early years. Marmalade Schools host many events for parents, from Keynote speakers to our very special Open Art Day. The Marmalade community is a very special group of people, and our parents stay connected to the schools and make friends for life! If you would like to join the Marmalade Schools please do get in touch. TO BOOK A TOUR OR TO FIND OUT MORE: please email firstname.lastname@example.org
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UMN 2021 | 7
FUN ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN
Pointe Black An inspiring Black ballet company championing diversity Pointe Black is a Black owned ballet company in the heart of Battersea. They offer creative ballet classes and provide a diverse and inclusive dance environment for all. Students enjoy the technique, foundations and therapeutic benefits of ballet, fused with aspects of Black culture. The school has also been awarded the Leading Champions of Performing Arts Diversity - London by the UK Enterprise Awards 2021. Inspired by her own experience, Ruth Essel created Pointe Black to make ballet a safe place and to focus on the best way to develop ballet as an art form; by being your authentic self. In class, children and adults are encouraged to practice self-expression, creativity, coordination, embrace cultural roots,
have fun and so much more. The adult classes are also a fusion of ballet and fitness where it doesn’t matter the shape, size, or shade of your body - and all are encouraged to be themselves. Pointe Black classes are every Saturday from November 20th. BY RUTH ESSEL, Principal and Founder www.pointeblack.co.uk
PLEASE TURN TO P14 to read Dr. Sandie Okoro’s article on growing up as a young Black person in London
PREP SCHOOL NEWS
Learning is an Adventure Falcons Prep introduces its exciting ethos for its new Reception class Falcons Prep’s ethos of “Learning is an Adventure”, has been at the forefront of our minds in designing our first Early Years environment. This philosophy is central to our boys flourishing, reaching their potential and developing important life skills central to their success. Some of the key areas we have focussed on include: Communication and Language, and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. We wanted to create a transition for children between home and school that would enable early relationships to be formed, and effective links to be forged between the two. This included a home visit, an onsite familiarisation visit and the creation of The Nest (our online Early Years Hub) that provides activities and Forest School sessions for families. As boys entered Reception, instead of diving directly into formal and structured learning, they were given the time and space to play alongside our Early Years specialists. This
enabled them to settle properly and for us to focus on their holistic development. To support Personal, Social and Emotional Development, we regularly visit our on-site Forest School. Here, our boys embrace our mindfulness sessions, enjoy the fresh air, and are given the freedom to explore. Driving this is our desire to enhance dispositions such as resilience, curiosity, independence, collaboration and risktaking so as to nurture confident, life-long learners, ready to face similar challenges in the future. To support Communication and Language skills, we promote rich conversations. Our open-ended role play areas where boys use real-life resources encourages imaginative play. For example, a curiosity cube is used to stimulate new ideas and questioning. Our new Falcons Fledglings have now been with us for four weeks and have quickly become part of the Falcons family. They are building positive relationships, developing as individuals and displaying the confidence to make mistakes, persevere and be themselves. JAMES DAVIS, Head of Early Years & Forest School Lead at Falcons Prep Richmond www.falconsprep.co.uk TURN TO P12 to read about Miss Olivia Buchanan and the new Falcons Reception podcast interview
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UMN 2021 | 9
PREP SCHOOL NEWS
Creating opportunity and nurturing talent in every individual Edgeborough’s Rising Star awards One of Edgeborough’s key strengths is that it prides itself on creating opportunities for all; encouraging pupils to try new activities; nurturing young passions into talent. Children are also encouraged to start their own extracurricular clubs and often Year 7 and 8 pupils teach activities that they are passionate about. Recently Edgeborough won the Independent Schools of the Year 2021 award ‘Rising Star’, which honours an individual for outstanding, personal achievement. It was awarded to Alfie Griffiths, a talented Year 8 artist, whose success has
S T E A M
skyrocketed at Edgeborough. Alfie has had artworks selected for the Young Royal Academy Summer Show, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (where he is the youngest ever exhibitor), and he was recently shortlisted for the Jackson Painting Prize. Last year, Cai Thomas, Edgeborough’s head chorister, was nominated as a finalist in the same category. Headmaster Dan Thornburn comments: ‘It is absolutely wonderful news and very well deserved that Alfie has won this award. It was clear he would be a star and the whole Edgeborough community, particularly the Head
of Art, Clare Lock, have been delighted to support him on his journey. This award is also testament to Edgeborough and its passionate staff who pride themselves on finding and nurturing talent in every individual and developing their passions. My aim is that by the time pupils leave Year 8, every child has found something that they love. These awards show we are well on our way to achieving that.’ www.edgeborough.co.uk
A STEAM school in the heart of London
science technology engineering arts maths
Our parents rate us 5/5 on
We looked at numerous local private schools and felt that this hidden gem was ideal for our sons.
PGP is an exceptional school, with excellent teaching and facilities (did I mention the outdoor space?! In London!) full of confident, happy children, reaching their potential.
If you’re looking for a school that will help produce a well-rounded, happy child who achieves to the best of their ability without undue stress, this is the school for you.
The remote learning programme from PGP was outstanding.
She and we loved PGP and she left full of confidence and with great results.
PGP is a wonderful school with strong academics and a lovely, caring ethos.
Prepare for the future; enjoy the journey! |
There are not enough superlatives to describe how happy we are at PGP.
• 020 7610 8085
PREP SCHOOL NEWS
Global Be Well Day Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School dedicates a full day to wellbeing Wellbeing and mental health are far more at the forefront of parents’ minds, a hugely positive tide change away from the often laser focus on exam results and senior school destinations when children are just starting their school careers. At Prince’s Gardens Preparatory School, our three foundations of academic excellence, character development and nurturing a global perspective sit alongside our Cognita Be Well Charter. A focus on physical contributors: sleep, diet and exercise, and mental contributors. Connecting, doing and giving, all come together to support wellbeing; the sense of feeling
socially and emotionally content and physically flourishing. On Thursday 30th September Global Be Well Day was celebrated across all Cognita schools worldwide, with a full day dedicated to wellbeing, particularly important at the end of the first busy month of the school year. With a special focus on mental health, the children at Prince’s Gardens were so excited to take part in the wonderful programme of activities. The whole school took part in the fitness challenge; eight circuit training exercises that were completed twice. They
also covered mindfulness, yoga, creative challenges, healthy fruit-kebab making, nutrition and dissection. To further teach how ‘giving’ can increase a sense of feeling content, money from the fitness challenge was raised for the Hannan School in Morocco, to build a school for children who do not have access to education in the Atlas Mountains. www.princesgardensprep.co.uk
Apply today for 2022 entry Nursery, Reception and Year 3 All details on our website
PREP SCHOOL NEWS
Courage, truth and joy Life at Sutton High Juniors is always exciting! Sutton High Nursery and Prep School is the perfect place for your daughter’s educational journey to begin. Every day our girls learn with joy, with specialist teachers cherishing each girl’s individuality, and a fantastic range of facilities including our on-site swimming pool, dance studio and science labs right at their fingertips. Our girls also benefit from our outdoor spaces with regular Forest School sessions starting in Nursery. Alongside our excellent academic results, we also have an award-nominated pastoral initiative: ‘Brains Matter’. Our
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST
pupils learn about their ‘fantastic elastic brains’, how thoughts and feelings can change it, and how to look after it. This initiative has been developed alongside our Book Club, our Positive Pod, where girls can drop in any time to talk about their feelings, and Big Sister/Little Sister, where our younger pupils are paired with older Prep girls to help ease their transition into school. At Sutton High, 10+ is the new 11+ as all girls in Year 6 are given automatic places into our Senior School, meaning that they can continue being part of the Sutton High family.
Sutton High School GDST is vibrant and diverse, and our girls are proud to be part of our energetic and forward-thinking community. At the heart of our school are the core values of courage, truth and joy. www.suttonhigh.gdst.net
Interviews and insights from leading figures in education
“We have crafted this careful environment where there is academic rigour, academic aspiration, but also a sense of community - and we often call ourselves a family.” Education Corner Podcast interview with Olivia Buchanan describing the school’s ethos.
When discussing Falcons Prep’s celebration of Black History Month, she announces: “As a school we take this very seriously. We continue to review and reflect and want to embed the recognition, celebration and education of all cultures, identities and faiths within this school. So, we have an ongoing commitment to diversity everyday beyond just this month.” When asked for the key characteristics of a Falcons’ boy, Olivia states: “We don’t have a type. We aren’t looking for any particular strength or interest in a boy. We want our boys to be curious, energetic, kind and happy. We look for boys that we know are going to thrive in this environment and be able take advantage of everything we have to offer.” CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast!
1 2 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
KEY TOPICS: alcons Prep’s ethos F Steps taken to support pupils through classroom changes postlockdown The school’s role in helping the local community The Forest School “Education comes with Adventure”: how this is seen
in the early years and how the ethos benefits the children The new Reception class Reasons parents should consider sending their son to Falcons Prep Black History Month Extracurricular activities and specialist sports
PREP SCHOOL NEWS
The Lost Generation - let’s not write off a generation of learners! Nottingham Girls’ High School supported its pupils during the COVID-19 pandemic Regrettably, there is a lot of noise in the media regarding a ‘lost generation’ of pupils; academically and socially relapsing into disorder, lacking discipline and direction during lockdown. I think we need to ‘change the narrative’ and celebrate how young people, parents and teachers have not just coped with a year to end all years, but have learnt new skills, tested their fortitude and become stronger because of it. There must be very few children who have not been personally affected by COVID-19. Have we praised them for how they responded to the ‘new normal’? I guess the answer is ‘no’ – once again, we have failed to acknowledge and appreciate our young people. Instead, we call them the ‘lost generation’ – disaffected, lacking motivation, behind in their learning. However, I think many schools have risen to the challenge of Guided Home Learning and pupils, parents and teachers have responded accordingly. It has not been easy, but it has not been a disaster. At NGHS, Google became the classroom; teachers quickly learnt to transfer their resources and lessons onto a shared drive; pupils uploaded their work and accessed their learning through their tablet. Pastoral and academic interventions continued to support the learners, parental contact continued. Along the way we learnt a new language, teachers were ‘glitching’, chat rooms and ‘virtual’ hand raising was the norm. Whilst our pupils enthusiastically ‘arrived’ at lessons, we’ve also gone through the ups and downs together: knowing that ‘my camera’s not working’ often means, ‘I’m struggling today and need some space.’ Lockdown has been an incredible struggle for all of us; our wellbeing and especially that of our children should now
be our priority. If a child is happy and feels safe, catching up with any gaps in learning will come a lot easier. We need to celebrate all they have achieved; there is no denying that school is the best place for children to be, but to ‘write off’ the last year would be a terrible mistake. In the Junior School, you will be familiar with the School Recipe: Resilience, Empathy, Creativity, Initiative, Positivity and Excellence. Resilience in being away from school and friends whilst trying to learn; Empathy, in understanding that technology can be cruel when your teacher is trying to show a slideshow; Creativity, thinking of innovative ways to demonstrate your learning when you’re not in school; Initiative, getting back into the ‘Google Meet’ when you have been ‘kicked out’; Excellence, the desire to make the most of your learning regardless of the situation. Lockdown and Guided Home Learning was the ultimate test of the RECIPE for all our school community and I think we came through it with flying colours. . PETER ELKINGTON, Deputy Head, Infant and Junior School. nottinghamgirlshigh.gdst.net
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 13
SPECIAL FEATURE Inclusion and Diversity/Parent Perspective
EDUCATION CHOICES PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH
Dr. Sandie Okoro Dr. Sandie Okoro discusses the importance of using her ‘voice’ to support gender and racial equality and shares some insight into her childhood and education that enabled her to become a diversity and inclusion champion and take her current position as General Counsel at World Bank and Senior Vice President.
CAREER What are some of the most exciting things that you feel that you have achieved so far in your dynamic and diverse career? I am currently at the World Bank as General Counsel of the World Bank Group, and Senior Vice President. It was a big one, it was a really big step up in terms of GC role, and being in an area of development where it is all about ending poverty is huge and something I’ve hugely enjoyed. I would also say that some of the things that I have done outside of work have been really important to me: the work I have done promoting gender equality, racial equality – all of that on the diversity and inclusion side, many different forms of things that I am very, very proud of. So, I would really say that the balance between this sort of day job, and getting this big job at the Bank, and doing the work that I have been doing on diversity and inclusion. At the Bank at the moment, I am Chair of the Anti-Racism Task Force, which is something that came into being about a year ago, and I am very proud of the work that we have been doing there. It is a lot of work to do. We’ve recently done an Anti-Racism charter internally, so it is really taking that concept of racial equality and equity forward. So, I think there are many different 1 4 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
things, all of which I think tie up together. I would really encourage anybody out there, no matter what age they are, no matter where they are in their careers, to do a little bit extra on the side. If you’re a pupil at school – get involved in extracurricular activities around diversity and inclusion. In your work, in the charities around you, everywhere because it is really important because your voice is very needed and we need everybody involved. To hear more about HSBC please listen to the podcast
“If you’re a pupil at school – get involved in extracurricular activities around diversity and inclusion. In your work, in the charities around you, everywhere because it is really important because your voice is very needed and we need everybody involved.” »
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UMN 2021 | 15
SPECIAL FEATURE Inclusion and Diversity/Parent Perspective
Obviously, you are not just a person of colour, but you are also a female world leader. How have you addressed this unique role? I don’t really see myself as a female world leader, but I do see myself as someone who has a senior role on the global stage, who is female, and has a voice. I have gone round to see many amazing women, in many different countries, they’ve all said to me: “You have this voice. You have this title; you have this voice. Please use it to raise our issues.” And I think that’s one of the most important things is that, you know, I’ll get invited to talk, to say something or give a lecture, simply because of my title. So, I have to use that, I think in my way, give agency and voice to those women who are not able to express their agency and voice. It’s not that they don’t have it, it’s getting a platform to express that. And that’s why I talk about access to justice, gender equality, women’s rights, whenever I get a chance to do that and spread that message, because not everybody has the opportunity to talk about it in the way that I have. So that’s what I say is how I can use the unique position that I am in. It is to change lives, help change the lives of those women and give voice and agency to them. Gender equality, equal rights, equity: it gives more for everybody. It is not about less; it is about more. Women are half of the world’s population; we need to be in half the conversations, we need to be half of the people in the room. Why not? And I think that needs to change, and that’s one of the biggest changes that I hope that we will see this century. And I hope along with that, we will see some more racial equality as well. To hear about further challenges that Dr. Sandie Okoro has faced and more about resilience please listen to the podcast
“Women are half of the world’s population; we need to be in half the conversations, we need to be half of the people in the room.” 1 6 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
EDUCATION What was your experience in school like as a person of colour? My primary school was completely different from my secondary school. My primary school did not encourage me to reach for the stars, so to speak. There was an incident at school where I remember the teacher went around and asked everyone in the class what they wanted to be when they grew up. And I remember putting up my hand and thinking: “I’ve got a great answer.” I said that I wanted to be a judge. And the teacher replied: “I’m sorry, Sandie, but little black girls from Balham don’t become judges.” That was a time when you could say that, it wasn’t thought to be a mean thing to say, you were managing a child’s expectations and people didn’t know any better. But, of course, I didn’t listen to that and thought: “Well if they don’t, then I’m going to be the first.” Now it’s a very different thing, obviously. I still have people come up to me when I give talks who would have had a similar experience not that long ago. Somehow - an ambition was not backed. Somehow - a dream was not backed, or told it wasn’t for them. And I think: “No, no. That is somebody else’s limitations for themselves that they are putting on you. If you feel you want to do it, if it’s in your bones, if you really want to do it, you will do it. You just have to work out how much hard work you need to put into it, and just get on and do it.” For me, it didn’t stop there, there were many other things in my career where for a number of reasons people would say: “Oh that might not be for you!” or suggested to me that I change my surname so it sounds more Anglophone so I could get more job interviews. None of that, really, mattered. It wasn’t right advice; it was somebody else looking at things from a very narrow perspective and thinking that life would always be the same as it is now. Do not worry about being the only person in the room. Do not worry about being the first. It won’t be like that for long, and someone has to be, so why not you? And everybody’s watching, and this is what I didn’t realise, Chloe, until later, was how many people looked at others to be role models and to represent. I had no idea, until relatively recently, how much that matters. If we don’t represent, and we don’t try and change things, how are things going to change? I can’t remember who said it, but we need to be the change we want to see.
Very well-put. You are an ex-Putney High School girl and still play an active role supporting the schoolwhat did you learn in your time there? Well Putney High was so opposite to my primary school. So, I went there – I’m not going to say when – but let’s just say it was a time before iPhones and satellite TV. It was a different era. But I went to this most marvellous secondary school called Putney High School. The day I walked in the door, it was Mrs Suzie Longstaff celebrating Putney High being awarded a Gold Medal at the about what I could achieve RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 and why wasn’t I trying to achieve it? Not about anything else. Not about: a bit of an effort, but that effort had to be a big is it possible? Was it not possible? They gave the effort just like everybody else. So, I wasn’t treated ethos that if you wanted to achieve it, you could differently, I didn’t feel I was different. But in that achieve it. And that’s where I got that resilience sense, it meant they pushed me just as hard as from. everybody else. I was the only black child in the school for a very long time, and you wouldn’t even have noticed They are obviously part of the GDST, the it. It was never mentioned; it was never an issue. Girls Day School Trust, what do you think are I made friends because I don’t think the school the benefits of single-sex education? would ever have allowed me to make it an issue, Or how did it serve you well? right, that I didn’t feel any prejudice from any of Well, I am no expert on this, but I would say, you the teachers or any of the pupils. I got invited to know, the whole debate around girls doing science everything, I was Captain of the Dance Team. at school etc. So for me going to a single sex school, I was encouraged to do everything, and I was this was never an issue because you saw the other encouraged to do it well. And I was encouraged girls around you doing all the subjects. I never to really try and they did not allow me to be lazy in ever thought: “This is a subject for boys. This is a certain things where I have a tendency to be. subject for girls.” Another thing, I never thought: They also encouraged the little rebel in me, “This is an instrument a boy plays, or a girl plays”, which is the protester in me. So, I did a lot of because you had a band, you had an orchestra protesting with my friend, Fran, against racism and all the other things you have in schools that and apartheid at the time. And they knew it was people join. But everyone plays everything because us, and we put stickers all over the place, and they you need the whole ‘shebang’. When you go to a would never really tell us off. They encouraged single-sex school, everybody does everything. that: to challenge society, challenge what is out One of things that I remember - I was very much there. Do it in a respectful and peaceful way. And into drama but behind the scenes, and I used that is something that has never left me. I think to do the lighting - is that the girls used to play a Putney High School girl always asks “Why?”, the boys’ parts… because that’s what you did. It always challenges what is out there, never takes wasn’t thought of as anything unusual. You used anything for granted and is a little bit quirky. everything that was in front of you, and you only They encouraged me to pursue what it is I wanted had girls in front of you, so they played the boys’ to pursue, and that education for education’s sake parts. I never forgot that. Nobody ever raised an is worth it, and that I was worth it. And that I eyebrow; this wasn’t really a big issue. But guess could learn whatever I wanted to learn if I made what? It meant there were more parts for people EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | 17
SPECIAL FEATURE Inclusion and Diversity/Parent Perspective
“I think a Putney High School girl always asks “Why?”, always challenges what is out there, never takes anything for granted and is a little bit quirky.” to play. Because traditionally, if you went to a co-ed school, the girls got the girls’ parts and the boys got the boys’ parts, and everybody knows that there are more boys’ parts than there are girls’ parts in nearly every play, at the time anyway. It exposes more people to arts and their talents. I think you get more people taking a chance on things that they wouldn’t otherwise take a chance on, because the girls can do everything and all the boys can do everything. So, I think there are lots of pluses in single-sex education. But there are lots of minuses as well, because you haven’t had that co-educational aspiration. That was new for me when I went to university – but not for very long because you’re very much an adult by the time that happens. The opportunity it gives you to try everything, because you have to try everything, I think is really important. I did some work later when I was on the board of the RSC, and we were having a discussion there about gender neutral casting, and I said, you know, it might have seemed rather foolish at the time: “Why is it that you get gender neutral casting in schools and nobody gives it a second glance, and you have to take what’s there, and you get racial neutral casting. I remember a production of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ that we did, and we had Mr Bennet that was a girl from an Indian origin, Mrs Bennet, I think, was black, the girls were from all over the place, Mr Darcy I think was from China - because they were there! And that was who was cast and who was best for the role. But no one thought: “Where’s this family come from? Look at that ethnic mix.” No. But somehow when we move from a school environment where you always take what you have, and I put that in inverted commas, into the “real world”, it suddenly doesn’t reflect that anymore. I think we need to be more open, more open in that way. We get more closed the older we get. I think that singlesex education gives much more opportunity for 1 8 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
everybody to do more, particularly in the artistic sphere, because you don’t go down the traditional ‘parts for boys. Parts for girls.’ ‘Instruments for boys. Instruments for girls.’ ‘Subjects for boys. Subjects for girls’ which we all try to stay away from, but guess what? It happens. And, I suppose, more opportunities for girls which is something you believe so strongly in. You also went on to study at the University of Birmingham, I’m not sure if I’ve got this right, but I believe you’ve since been awarded a doctorate? I have! I’ve been made the most wonderful thing, which was a couple of years ago, which is called a ‘Doctor of the University’ which is wonderful. And it is one of the things I’m most proud of: to be a doctor of my own university. So, it’s not a doctor of laws, it is a Doctorate of the University. And there are very few that are Doctors of the University, so I am very proud to be a Doctor of my own alma mater, which is wonderful and has a fantastic law faculty there, by the way. They are doing many interesting things, especially in the sciences, there. When I got there, I never felt that there was any cap, or any limitation as to what I could do as a female, as a person of colour, anything really. I didn’t feel that my professors were saying: “Think about this. Maybe go into Family Law. Maybe go
into this.” Not at all! It was all open-season – go for it! For people that are choosing their schools and universities, they’ve got to feel that it’s giving them that sense of encouragement.
CURRENT ISSUES After the BLM movement, particularly the death of George Floyd, the education sector has been accused of perhaps not including enough content on the history of people of colour. Or perhaps, in some cases, misinformation. What are your thoughts on this? So, when you look at the curriculum, it’s as they say ‘History is written by the victors’, so when you look at a curriculum and, well, the sciences are the sciences, but when you look at the arts, and history and geography, they are all taught from a particular perspective. Mathematics may be one of the few things that isn’t. Maybe the sciences as a whole. They are what they are: 2+2 is 4. It’s 4 all over the world! When you look at pioneers in art, and what we call art, how things are described has really changed. So, I remember in school, when we would go and visit the museums in London – British Museum, Natural History Museum etc. – they don’t do it now, but they used to have a section called ‘Primitive Art’. And Primitive Art was everything from Africa and that part of the world. They didn’t call it ‘Ancient Art’. It didn’t have the same titles; it had primitive. I think we have to remember that language and positioning matters, and how we have been taught things in history, and how we saw images, and are those correct? Or are they just the way these people wanted us to see these things? And we should question that. And there are many stories we now know that we haven’t heard and are now cropping up. Somebody gave me a very interesting book – haven’t yet read it – called ‘The Black Tudors’, about the Tudors and the people that were black at the time. And I thought: “I didn’t know there were any black Tudors!” We weren’t taught there were any! What were those stories? And, you know, all of those things were lost in history, because the story was not told. Different now, we have our mobile phones, we have Instagram, all those things recording every single movement. But prior to that, you had to rely on the historians to record what
they thought was relevant. And there was no doubt that there were some things that had been missed. That’s why I think that things like Black History Month are really important to recognise what has been missed, what hasn’t been recorded. We all need to know, and there’s a really good thing and I suggest all people go and look at this, all these things that have been created by people of colour that have never been recognised will surprise you. So, there are all these things that haven’t been recorded, that should be recorded, are now being unearthed and recognised. And they just weren’t. And I think you can’t change the fact that they weren’t but you can change the fact that they will be. And they are part of history. Otherwise, it seems like there was no history before then. For example, terminology that we use about Columbus discovering America, well, it was always there he didn’t discover it. He just stumbled across it, really. It was there; it has a history. But the way we are taught things, and some of the terminology we use, needs to recognise that actually it’s coming from a particular point of view rather than a wider EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 19
SPECIAL FEATURE Inclusion and Diversity/Parent Perspective
“That’s why I think that things like Black History Month are really important to recognise what has been missed, what hasn’t been recorded.” landscape. And we could all do with the wider landscape to understand things. And I give that example of calling certain art ‘primitive’ when in fact it isn’t, there’s nothing primitive about it all. We’ve just put it in that category, called it that, and that’s what museums used to label it until they understood better. Yet, other things were called ‘ancient’. You look at ‘Ancient Egypt’ or ‘Ancient Rome’. It’s not called ‘Primitive Egypt’ or ‘Primitive Rome’. Do you think more could be done to educate children on the history of people with colour and women, and the journey towards equality? Yes. It surprises me what history is now. Modern history is learning about Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid, which was in my lifetime so it doesn’t feel like history. So, we have to recognise that there is a lot there that has changed from the traditional form of history. But everybody wants to feel represented. I really think it’s important, particularly for those that go on to study History, for those that become professors of History, or doctorates of History, to look at those things more broadly and to bring more stories to the fold. Not negating stories that exist, but finding the untold stories that are there, and the untold angles. So, a really interesting one, is the angle from which many which were told, would have been a male angle. So, Crick and Watson who did the DNA, there was a very famous lady, who’s name escapes me, alongside, but we always hear about Crick and Watson. She’s now been recognised much, much more. But that is an example: the fact that her name doesn’t roll off the tongue as quickly as ‘Crick and Watson and DNA’ is that there are many forgotten stories of women who have been working alongside. Or, who have been relegated to a “helper” role when they were doing just the same as everybody else. And America – which I’m living in at the moment – 20 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
has been quite good at trying to recognise that and try to go back and resurface these stories from history and re-tell them. I think that’s really important. Look at who else was alongside, you know, when you look at stories of exploration. Who else has been missed who has not been told at all?
PERSONAL LIFE AND MOTHERHOOD We also understand that your daughter has autism. I know her very well myself. Could you tell me a little about some of the challenges that you have faced raising a child with additional learning needs, but also being a full-time working mum of two children and later teenagers? The first thing is learning to prioritise, because you have to in that situation. Learning that not everything can be perfect; it is okay for everything to be just okay. Those were two things that I came to terms with, I think, very early on. Autism is a huge challenge, because it is the way a person sees the world and the way they interact with the world, and so it affects the whole world the family is in, as well. Your view of things is just not the same; your child’s view of the things is just not the same. They are very mixed and very vulnerable, so you are constantly looking out for them and seeing the world in a different way. There are positives there because you get to see the world in a way that other people don’t get to see the world. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be scary, but you are very aware of how difficult the world can be for those who are vulnerable and have learning difficulties. Holding down a full-time job and doing that can be very difficult. There has been much more put in in terms of legislation than in my day, that gives you flexibility but it wasn’t there when I was really starting. I had to create it for myself, and understand very much how I needed my day to work, what support I needed and not be afraid to ask for that support. To understand what support my daughter needed, and not to be afraid to find that support for her. And not to be afraid…to say first off - and not to hide her from the world - but say: “This is Sophie. She is autistic. This is the way she might behave. That is the way Sophie is.” To make it very much Sophie, and not a child
To hear about dealing with autism and people who have inspired Dr. Sandie Okoro please listen to the podcast
Am I allowed to ask, what are your aspirations for the future? So, I don’t know what the future holds. I’ve got, you know, obviously my current job has lots of legs in it, don’t get me wrong there, but you know, I think I still hold that ambition, Chloe, one day, to be a judge. I still hold that.
with autism. So, I think what has happened is that people have recognised that she is a person and her characteristics are that is what she will do, and this is how she will react etc etc. And we have had many amusing moments around that, rather than making it about something to be afraid of and put to the side, and not integrate into your own world. So, I, as you know, have really integrated her into my world, and made her part of my world, and not put that to one side so she can make as much of it as she can and not be outside of it. But it hasn’t been easy at all. And she’s much older now, and more independent, and it was very, very difficult at certain points as well, extremely difficult, sometimes even thinking: “Are you going to get through the day in one piece?”
It’s the wig, Sandie! Obviously, we’re interviewing you as Education Choices Magazine, and we like to say that we believe that we are a ‘key to success’. As a very successful lady of colour, and a single mother of two now adult children, we know how hard you’ve worked to build your way up in the world. What do you feel is the key to success? It’s almost what I said before, which is don’t get in your own way. Don’t talk yourself out of anything. Talk yourself into something, not out of something. Take some risks in doing things. The worst that can happen is that what you want doesn’t materialise. But remember that you didn’t have it in the first place. But what if what you want does materialise. And I have realised that there are so many things that I have thought that I couldn’t do, wouldn’t be successful at, but once I tried it - guess what – suddenly, the people you need come your way, the tools you need come your way, the resources you need come your way, the ‘know-how’ comes your way. Life is not what you think it is going to be, and don’t live in the now, live in the future. And the way I tend to do that is to not say: “Where do I want to be in 10 years time, 20 years time?”, but “What would I regret in 10 or 20 years’ time that I didn’t do?” That is how you live in the future, and you give yourself a lot more choices and a lot more impetus to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do. You think: “What is it that I’m going to regret that I didn’t do?” We would like to give special thanks to Dr. Sandie Okoro for sharing her wisdom and insightful words with us. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST TURN TO P23 to read about the Inspiring Minds project at Latymer Upper
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UMN 2021 | 21
Modelling a democratic culture Putney High (GDST) embrace and welcome their student voice
In a year where we have so much enjoyed being back together as a community, our students have played an important role in developing the culture of the school with wellbeing, inclusiveness and intellectual agility at the heart of everything we do. Putney has always had a democratic culture with girls knowing that they are valued and their views respected. 2020-21 saw the Student Build Committee
actively involved in the design of our new Athena Centre for Science, Music, Drama and Debating, opening this winter with state-of-the-art facilities and a central forum where students will come together to debate the issues of the day and develop their skills as orators. The new cross-curricular centre builds on the school’s research into the impact of Biophilic design, work which has already transformed the Sixth Form Futures Hub into a space where students and staff can flourish. The project examined the impact of bringing plants and nature into the classroom and was shared at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this autumn, winning the school a coveted gold medal. Students and staff are encouraged to think differently, keen to share
22 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
and challenge ideas whether in Putney’s many co-curricular groups and societies, or through critical thinking in the classroom. This autumn our biennial PIE conference (Putney Ideas Exchange) will be a day off timetable for the whole school to celebrate diversity and promote inclusion. There will be Keynote speeches from Paralympic athlete, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Putney alumna, dancer and choreographer, Aicha McKenzie, along with lectures and workshops on everything from LGBTQ+ in the Classics to Diversity Policing, folkdancing and diversity in Art. With social conscience high on everyone’s agenda, Putney does not shy away from difficult discussions, learning that society’s ills are not “someone else’s” to solve. The It Starts with Me programme has offered a proactive approach to helping our young people gain a more confident understanding of the diverse society in which they’re growing up; replacing complacency with a sense of shared responsibility. www.putneyhigh.gdst.net
Inspiring Minds Latymer Upper have increased their bursary provision and celebrate the success of their Inspiring Minds campaign At the start of this academic year it was exhilarating to know that 1 in 5 of our pupils are here on a bursary - that’s double what it was 10 years ago. Now, more than ever, our mission to provide an outstanding education for all academically able children, no matter their financial means, is a moral imperative. Last year’s report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) indicated that the disadvantage gap has stopped closing for the first time in over a decade. Thankfully, due to the work of our Foundation over the years and the incredible generosity of our community, when the pandemic hit, we were able to
increase the number of bursaries we offered. It makes me proud that our progress towards realising our ambition of 1 in 4 students on a bursary has not slowed and that by 2024 we will be one of the most socially inclusive independent schools in the UK. Two alumni returned for our Inspiring Minds campaign event recently and reminded us all of the life-changing impact our bursaries have. Hadeel graduated this Summer with 2 A*s in Biology and Chemistry and 2 As in Maths and AS English and her brother, also a Latymerian, is now starting his fourth year of Medicine at Imperial. She said: “The School
guided a single, disabled, Iraqiborn mother and her two children through an education system that wants to offer them a better life than the one they currently have; I prefer not to think of where me and my brother would be without our bursaries.” Amir, is now a fourth year medical student at Jesus College, Cambridge and has been awarded an academic scholarship. He
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 23
said: “My mum and I still vividly remember the day that I got accepted into Latymer, and whilst we knew back then that it would change my life, I never realised quite how life-changing it would be. A Latymer education is truly world class…and the vast wealth of teachers who always go the extra mile and the brilliant teaching facilities meant that my interest in science developed into a passion to learn more.” Since 2004 over 70% of our bursary holders have gone on to Russell Group universities with increasing numbers now also accepting places at international universities, including Ivy League. Tianrun, was the first person to receive a Latymer Prep bursary, aged 7 and he has just realised his dream, achieving straight A*s in his A Levels and taking up a place at King’s College, Oxford to read Maths. His classmate Oyin, who joined us on a bursary as a shy young girl in Year 7, received
offers not only from Cambridge to read Natural Sciences, but also Princeton and MIT, where she is one of only 140 international students in the world to be admitted. Bursary applications are increasing and we are mindful that not every child can come to Latymer. Complimenting our bursary programme is our partnership and outreach activity, which involves nearly 250 local schools, charities and community groups and impacts more than 1,000 local children. Attain is one of our six major school partnership programmes. We’ve completed the first phase of this catch-up programme and the feedback has been incredible - 80% of teachers saw an increase in their students’ academic ability; 100% saw increased student confidence; and 100% also saw an increase in their students’ overall readiness to be back in school after lockdown - and we’re about
24 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
to launch Phase II, with double the number of primary and secondary schools hoping to take part. During lockdown we tackled digital poverty with donations of hundreds of laptops and dongles to students when they most needed it; we opened the School up as a hub, a safe place for local children to come and study and be fed and we’re continuing to address the issue of ‘holiday hunger’ running holiday camps every holiday for local children to have the opportunity to take part in healthy outdoor activity and get fed. Our commitment to providing the best educational opportunities for young people is shared by our whole community and that gives me hope and cause for optimism about better times ahead. MR GOODHEW, Headmaster Latymer Upper School TURN TO P47 to read about schools celebrating Black History Month
THIS is Dyslexia The definitive guide to the untapped power of dyslexic thinking and its vital role in our future What is Dyslexic Thinking? And why is it responsible for some of the most brilliant breakthroughs in history – from the lightbulb to the iPhone? A new book called ‘THIS is Dyslexia’, written by Kate Griggs, social entrepreneur and founder of global charity, Made By Dyslexia, covers everything you need to understand, value and support Dyslexic Thinking – at home, in the classroom or at work. Written for older children and adults, it explains how dyslexic minds process information differently and explores the unique set of skills that make them experts at problem solving, empathy and communication.
As a leading voice in global dyslexia advocacy, Kate has been shifting the narrative on dyslexia since 2005, championing a new school of thought which encourages people to embrace its incredible strengths. ‘THIS is Dyslexia’ is filled with advice from well-known dyslexics, stories from Kate’s own experience and techniques to overcome challenges. The inspiring book features a forward from Sir Richard Branson, and explores how dyslexia has shaped our past and how harnessing its powers and strengths is vital to our future.
It’s not only a brilliant guide for people with dyslexia, it also helps parents, employers and educators truly understand dyslexia and Dyslexic Thinking. ‘THIS is Dyslexia’, BY KATE GRIGGS, is out now, published by Penguin Random House. TURN TO P28 to read about Karen McCombie’s new book: ‘How To Be A Human’
Developing Remarkable People Since 1541
DISCOVER MORE berkhamsted.com Nursery • Pre-Prep • Prep • Girls • Boys • Sixth EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 25
Located in a Chiltern Hills market town just 32 mins direct from
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
Supporting young people from the very beginning Lancing College works hard to make new pupils feel at home Every year Lancing College welcomes between 150 and 200 new pupils who join the school in the Third, Fourth or Lower Sixth Form. From the moment they join they become part of a warm and encouraging community. Whether day or boarding, they all benefit from the all-inclusive care and support of the Lancing ethos. A comprehensive joining pack, provided well in advance, helps reassure our new joiners and allows families to plan in time for the September start. During the Summer Term new joiners come to Lancing for the ‘new pupils’ day’ alongside their parents. House staff and a pupil buddy are in touch over the summer to make the initial connections. The programme for the start of term is vital to offer the initial encouragement and
support needed, especially when joining a new school. First days of school for new joiners focus on group activities and social opportunities to get to know the school and make friends. Third Formers arrive one day early to settle in and explore before existing pupils return; the first days include orientation, music, drama, sport, and a workshop with the School Prefects who answer questions about college life. A formal lunch for the Lower Sixth gives an opportunity to meet with the existing members of the year group as well as teachers and other staff. The induction period continues with various gatherings and year group assemblies throughout
the year. Lancing Houses play a vital role within the school community: older pupils’ mentor the younger and guide them through the first few weeks at the school; House Captains look after a year group, keep a close eye on new pupils and organise social events. From the beginning of term, the Houses’ calendars are quickly filled up with barbecues, games or movie nights, sleepovers, bake-offs, and many other activities to facilitate socialising within the House. Deep friendships and memories are made in Houses. For those pupils who might be struggling with homesickness or anxiety, the Housemaster/ Housemistress and other House staff, the Chaplain, and nurses in the school’s Health Centre are always on hand to support every individual; the solution might be as simple as a good sleep and a chat, or a referral to our School Counsellors. The Peer Supporters are also around for a chat; they are pupils in the Sixth Form who are specifically trained to provide support and advice to their fellow students. www.lancingcollege.co.uk TURN TO P52 to read some top tips on settling into university
26 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
Senior School & Sixth Form
Be inspired Be brilliant Be you Registered Charity Number 1076483
Ch-ch-changes! Author, Karen McCombie, on the seismic shift from primary to secondary school From my scattershot of secondary school memories, three jump out… 1. The strained expressions of the be-caped teachers who’d stayed on – by the looks of it reluctantly – after my school had morphed from being a centuriesold private boys school to a co-ed comprehensive. My stint at Aberdeen Grammar School began with us being only the third year of girls allowed across the threshold, and it felt wildly exciting to be rocking the patriarchy with our hints of (Harmony) hair colour and illegally rolled-up skirts! 2. Being constantly muddled up with Fiona McCombie, all-round nice person, brainiac and future Head Girl. Most of the time it was a pain, since I was pretty much unfavourably compared to her, but I then was very pleased with the 88% I got for Physics in my mock Scottish O-Grade. Especially since I hadn’t actually taken Physics. 3. Starting secondary with the same ‘newbie’ status as everyone else. Attending five primary schools in total – including one in Australia, after my family emigrated and then quickly un-emigrated – and constantly being the lone new girl had left me terribly shy and awkward. But being in the same boat as everyone else at secondary felt liberating!
Karen, aged 14, just about to be harangued by Mrs Downie, fearsome deputy head, for eyeliner and slackenedtie irregularities!
By contrast, this transition time was tricksy for my own daughter, who swapped a cosy, just-atthe-end-of-the-road primary for a bedazzlingly huge school packed too full of jostling older kids, confusing corridors to get lost in, and teachers warning of Stern Consequences if protractors/gym shorts/green pens for marking were forgotten. Different experiences of the primary-to-secondary step-up – including the not-inconsequential shifting sands of friendship groups – rattled around in my mind, eventually settling into ‘How To Be A Human’, my latest novel. Told from three points of view, the character of Kiki is based on a friend’s daughter, who found herself scooped up into the popular crew, only to be spat out pretty quickly for not being cool enough. Wes is a friend-free loner, unsure how to fit in or avoid bullies. And the ultimate outsider is Star Boy, newly-stranded and hiding in the school basement after an intergalactic educational trip goes wrong! So yes, the switch to secondary school can be a brilliant time of new changes and new chances, but it can be pretty overwhelming too. To every student embarking on it, I salute you! And want to give your hand a little squeeze too. It’ll be okay. Eventually. I promise… Karen McCombie has been described by Waterstones as “one of children’s fiction’s most accomplished authors.” ‘How To Be A Human’ – her ninety-seventh published book – is out now. FOR MORE INFO, including teaching resources, visit www.karenmccombie.com or www.littletiger.co.uk/resourcecategory/activities
TURN TO P25 to read about Kate Grigg’s new book addressing dylexia
28 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
POST THE PANDEMIC
Mental Health Issues and Measures to Support Young People Surbiton High continues to take big steps to strive towards supporting its students Prioritising the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils is core to enabling our pupils to flourish. Happy pupils are more able to attend lessons, absorb the curriculum and enjoy the fullness of school life. Surbiton High School has always placed great importance on the role that wellbeing plays to ensure a pupil thrives at school. All schools have seen the impact of COVID-19 on pupils’ wellbeing – in particular, an increase in anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders and stress-related concerns. Our ‘Charter for Wellbeing’ sits at the very heart of the education we offer. A holistic approach to wellbeing, it is based on the research of positive psychology and what we need in order to flourish. Our understanding of wellbeing– developed over the past six years – has ensured that we have been able to respond to
our pupils’ wellbeing and mental health over the past two years. Our full-time counselling team has supported pupils, both inschool and virtually, alongside our academic mentors, personal mentors and School Nurse. Form Tutors and Deputy Form Tutors provide a dualsupport system, and we have a research-based tracking system in place to monitor our pupils’ wellbeing, enabling us to be proactive in spotting when extra support is needed. Ensuring staff have the time to dedicate to pastoral care, and increasing resources within the pastoral Head-of-Year teams, has ensured that every pupil is given the support they need. During lockdown, we continued with small tutor group meetings and live MS Teams lessons to keep pupils connected, and developed a mental health toolkit to support pupils, which can be found here. Equipping pupils with coping
strategies and being mindful of their own wellbeing needs is a priority at Surbiton High. Through our SCOPE days (Surbiton COPE) - when the timetable is collapsed - pupils are given time to explore relevant themes based on our Charter’s PERMA model (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment). In conjunction with our Parent Partnership talks, we encourage dialogue amongst parents, pupils and the School to discuss all aspects of mental health and wellbeing. The past 18 months have certainly been challenging, but by keeping abreast of how our pupils feel and adapting the support in place to meet their needs, we have been able to ensure that our pupils have continued to flourish. BY MATTHEW CLOSE, Senior Vice Principal at Surbiton High School www.surbitonhigh.com/ TURN TO P12 to read about Miss Olivia Buchanan and the new Falcons Reception podcast interview
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 29
Burgess Hill Girls’ 2022 BOLD Award A fully funded place at Sixth Form available exclusively for state school students
Burgess Hill Girls already offers our groundbreaking BOLD programme in the Sixth Form, which aims to provide students with all the social, interpersonal and leadership skills they need to thrive in their future lives. The BOLD Award takes the programme one step further, seeking out individuals who can already demonstrate they have some of these qualities, are bold in nature and have a desire to make a positive impact on the social and political world around them. Most importantly, the Award is specifically for students who might not otherwise be able to access the BOLD programme at Burgess Hill Girls Sixth Form. The BOLD Award is a fully funded place and Burgess Hill Girls strongly encourages applications from students who: Have no family history of university attendance Are eligible for school meals Come from families who have faced considerable hardships Are looked-after children or currently in care Are the children of key workers MEET ANAH – THE 2021 BOLD AWARD RECIPIENT How did you hear about the BOLD Award? I heard about the BOLD Award when I was looking at various sixth forms and colleges to apply for and came across the page on the Burgess Hill Girls website. I’d already fallen in love with the school and all it has to offer, it felt like an opportunity too good to be true! 30 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
How has your first few weeks been at Burgess Hill Girls? I can honestly say that I have loved my first few weeks at Burgess Hill Girls. The year group is quite small but that makes for such a close-knit, welcoming, supportive community that I’m so proud to be a part of. All the girls here have gone out of their way to make everyone feel included and already I’ve made some incredible friends. The teachers are all committed and passionate about their subjects, making lessons engaging and fun but also definitely intellectually challenging. In the space of two weeks, I’ve already been on two trips and taken part in a competition as part of a club! Is it different from your expectations? Yes! I was worried about integrating into the year group and sticking out like a sore thumb having never been to a private school before. Yet my preconceptions could not have been more wrong. It’s so easy to get involved right from the start of the year in projects such as the annual Performing Arts day that Y12 runs (even if
“I cannot emphasise enough how incredible this school is and for many people including myself, private schools like this one are so far out of reach. THIS is your chance!” Anah, 2021 BOLD Award recipient
performing arts isn’t something you’ve ever done before!) and, like I’ve said before, you could not meet a more welcoming group of people. Why would you encourage girls to apply for the BOLD Award? You never know what great things can fall into your lap unless you try! I did not think my chances were very high of winning the BOLD Award or of ever going to such a prestigious, excellent school but that’s how things worked out after I’d given it a go. I cannot emphasise enough how incredible this school is and for many people including myself, private schools like this one are so far out of reach. THIS is your chance! Are you already thinking about what you might do after your A levels? What are your ambitions?
It’s certainly been something I’m thinking about but I’ve not got a definitive plan yet. There are loads of degrees and career paths that I’m considering as I’ve chosen facilitating A Levels that could lead to a lot of pathways. I also definitely want to go to a Russell Group University or potentially Oxbridge. How do you think Burgess Hill Girls can help you get there? Burgess Hill Girls does so much to prepare us for university and the working world! They do networking dinners, the EPQ, practice interviews and more to help us figure out what we want to do and have the best possible chance of getting where we want to go. Also, there’s always someone to talk to about your aspirations or if you’re unsure. www.burgesshillgirls.com
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 31
Avoiding gender stereotypes and preconceptions Wetherby Senior are educating their pupils to encourage empathy and resilience The overriding aim of Wetherby Senior School is to provide a well-rounded education that prepares our boys to face the challenges of modern life, with a strong focus on responsibility, compassion towards others, and service to the communities in which they will live and work. Academic excellence is central to Wetherby Senior, but we are also committed to supporting our pupils as they grow into emotionally resilient, self-aware and empathetic human beings. The teaching staff are dedicated to working with and supporting the young men in our community; outstanding pastoral care is at the heart of all that we do. RSHE lessons are led by form tutors to ensure a comfortable and familiar setting when discussing sensitive and potentially challenging topics, giving the boys an open and nonjudgemental environment in which to explore the issues facing them as they grow up in uncertain
and ever-changing times. Integral to our RSHE programme is the partnership we’ve developed with Beyond Equality (formerly The Good Lad Initiative) – an organisation that challenges gender stereotypes and preconceptions amongst young people. Pupils take part in bespoke, ageappropriate workshops, tailored to the needs of their year group. As they progress through the school, these workshops build on the important themes and issues covered each year with our school’s values incorporated into the work done by the team at Beyond Equality. Mr Joe Silvester, Headmaster of Wetherby Senior, commented: ‘The challenges of the modern world continue to increase for all young people, and at Wetherby Senior we are focussed on helping our pupils develop the tools to overcome these challenges, while reminding them of their personal responsibilities. Our objective is for boys to leave Wetherby Senior as selfaware young men who are compassionate and thoughtful, with a keen understanding of the communities in which they live and work.’ www.wetherbysenior.co.uk TURN TO P20 to read about gender equality
32 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
REGISTER YOUR INTEREST NOW https://www.wetherbysenior.co.uk/?utm_source=education-choices&utm_medium=magazine-ad-online&utm_campaign=WbySnr-visitor-days-autumn2021
PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION ON OUR
www.wetherbysenior.co.uk the Gold Standard in education
An opportunity to win a fully funded place to study GCSE or A-levels at a leading co-educational college in West London with up to 100% scholarships awarded
Register by Monday 15th November ealingindependentcollege.com/scholarship ���8 ��� 6668
What are the benefits of taking the IB? The IB offers students at Box Hill many opportunities In the Sixth Form at Box Hill School, our students are fortunate to have the choice of two academic programmes; A Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP). Both are academically rigorous and well regarded by top universities, the choice of programme is very much down to which suits each individual. Box Hill School provides a lot of support and guidance to help our students make this informed decision. We are extremely proud to be an accredited IB World School and have been running this programme with great success for over 15 years. The IB offers: Great preparation for higher education by developing the types of skills students will need for future studies. For example, all diploma students complete an extended essay, requiring independent research aligned with the study requirements at university. Amassing critical thinking skills, through the mandatory “Theory
of Knowledge” subject, which encourages the acquaintance of knowledge and the understanding of how this can be applied with greater awareness and credibility. A broad and diverse curriculum (six subjects plus the core) providing a well-rounded holistic education equipping students with the diverse knowledge to pursue a range of university courses and career opportunities.
07738238273 email@example.com www.cjaeducationalconsultancy.com
Educational Consultant • Introductory meeting to get to know your family and your child/children • Assessment when required to establish your child’s levels • School advice for both primary and secondary in the London area and beyond • Support and advice on suitable school choices
Students have the opportunity to take part in a programme of education that can lead them to some of the highest-ranking universities around the world and the UK. Personal development through the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) component of the IB enabling students the opportunities to get involved in projects outside the classroom. “The IB is a truly great academic programme because it develops every aspect of the individual. It enables students to perform well academically but equally importantly it encourages them to become curious about the world around them whilst equipping them with critical thinking skills. IB students tend to develop well socially and emotionally, and we see in terms of their personal growth that they set themselves high standards, preparing them for university and life beyond.” Julian Baker, IB Programme Co-ordinator, Box Hill School.
• Booster sessions in key exam skills
CONTACT: www.boxhillschool.com Place your stars in our hands... 3 4rising | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
Education, Assessment, and Classroom of the Future Re-evaluating the GCSE curriculum and introducing a multi-modal approach I would like to conjure two images. The first, an imaginary workplace with space for quiet working and areas for meetings and collaboration. There are powerful computers that drive new technologies. Teams of people, diverse in background and skills, are working together both in person and virtually. There are deadlines, but it is accepted that new ideas can be messy and that there will be risk. It is better to try something and fail early than not to try at all. Now we see an exam room: desks separated, rigidly aligned, front-facing. Collaboration is forbidden, breaks are supervised, notes and research are left at the door. Access to the outside world has been disabled. Those with dispensation to use computers are confined to another room. The task is strictly timed and an “off day” is not to be countenanced; there is only one chance to get it right and the answers are predetermined. The contrast is stark. There is, of course, a place for exams. The ability to work under pressure is important. They can act as a powerful motivator, and memory is a muscle we need to learn how to flex. But over the past few years, rote learning has taken root and stress levels have risen inexorably.
The need for mass produced tests and the chimeric search for “reliable” grades has driven out the openended questions that might invite deep thinking, support a growth mindset, and encourage fresh ideas. Academic success has trumped fabrication and technical skills and narrowed the relevance and appeal of what we teach. It is time to re-evaluate our approach. A slimmer curriculum at GCSE would free time for creative, collaborative enquiry, and enable a more personalised approach. It would offer scope for interdisciplinarity, critical thinking and ‘wicked’ problem solving. A renewed focus on digital skills, technical proficiency and the creative and performing arts would prepare young people for the broader challenges of the 21st century, hand, head and heart, while investment in technology would enhance collaboration across sectors at home and abroad. Fresh ideas and opportunities, underpinned by a multi-modal approach to assessment, would breathe new life into the curriculum and enable us to nurture the wellbeing, personal growth and multifaceted talents young people need to thrive in the modern world. The classroom of the future could be an exciting place, rigorous and demanding, but individually affirming and rewarding too. MRS SARAH FLETCHER, High Mistress – St Paul’s Girls’ School www.spgs.org TURN TO P44 to read about preparing to study abroad
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 35
Reflections of an A Level student in 2021 Taking your exams in the second year of a global pandemic Dear reader, I would like you to take a moment to reflect back upon your final year at school. Whether you sat A Levels, SATs, or any other type of exam. Do you remember the deadlines? The late nights? Or perhaps the immense pressure of knowing that the grades you get will impact the rest of your life? Now add a global pandemic on top of this. I’m sure that you can all think of a number of stresses and problems that you experienced during the lockdowns which we all went through. For the year above us things were challenging (2020). The school’s examination system was cancelled, and grades were assigned in a way that they never had been before; resulting in disaster for some. However, in many ways our year (of 2021) has had a much more challenging time. To begin with, we had spent almost half of our first A Level year learning from home. This brought a range of problems, with some students able to cope better than others. We were constantly having to adapt to an ever-changing programme, dealing with new anxieties and problems along the way. We couldn’t even ask the teachers for guidance, as they knew as little as we did. A time that I will never forget is my A Level mocks. It was the Christmas holidays and things were unclear as to whether our actual exams would go ahead. It was a couple days before Christmas when the announcement was made. Boris’ face sprung up on the TV and announced in a matter-of-fact tone that for another year: “Exams. Were. Not. Going. Forward.” In a moment of intense shock, anxiety and general confusion as to what would happen, I decided to eat far too many pigs in blankets than is deemed healthy! From then onwards my life consisted of practice papers, essays and stress. My school insisted that these mocks would not be the “be all and end all”, but they were a lot more important than they normally were, and possibly could have been the only proper exams we’d be given to prove our final grades. Lockdown happened again and I sat my exams in a way I had never imagined: sitting in my bedroom with a rather stern looking 36 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
“To begin with, we had spent almost half of our first A Level year learning from home. This brought a range of problems, with some students able to cope better than others. We were constantly having to adapt to an ever-changing programme.” woman staring at me through a screen on Zoom. Fortunately, my revision paid off, but others had a much harder time, especially those with additional learning needs or the many children who did not have access to the internet or electronic devices. After these exams we received our grades, which was as nerve-racking as results day itself. As a student in a competitive girls’ school there were lots of tears and upset. Not long after this, we moved back into school with masks, which was stressful in itself. To help determine our final grades we headed straight into a never-ending stream of exams. As someone who naturally gets anxious before an exam, things became a nightmare. I spent five months straight in a state of permanent ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. Unsurprisingly, I was not alone, according to the Evening Standard over 75% of students have experienced stress or
anxiety as a result of the exam changes. For a normal A Level student the ‘intense revision period’ lasts about a month or so. Multiply this by five! In addition, we still had lessons to complete (no revision period at home). School, lessons, homework, revision and very important exams. To say the least, it was not a healthy state to be in. Each day students were crying, breaking down, and behaving in ways I couldn’t have predicted. At one point a student even managed to break a chair in their frustration! Each exam felt like an A Level and I would get so stressed I wouldn’t even sleep the night before (even on Night Nurse). I would have a racing heartbeat, tightness in my chest and break out in sweats. It took me six months in the summer for me to get my period back in recovery from the stress I experienced. Fortunately, I managed to achieve a good set of grades, but this year will
certainly go down as one of the most stressful years of my life to date! If this style of grading were to happen again, I hope that the government will let schools adapt their method of assigning grades to one that is less intense and stress-inducing. If extra exams are required to help determine grades, I suggest allowing students to have a revision period from home, so that the additional pressure of lessons and school are alleviated. I believe that we all worked very hard towards this set of exams and that the teachers were extra diligent about awarding high grades. I certainly can list a number of people who did not get their first choices, despite the grade inflation that many tabloids are reporting. Maybe this year everyone worked harder under lockdown than ever before, having seen what happened to the previous cohort of A Level and GCSE students last year? Just a thought… Student (anonymous) TURN TO P53 to read more about looking after your mental health and wellbeing
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 37
SIXTH FORM AND THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE
‘Should I stay or should I go now?’ Changing school for Sixth form: what are the benefits? Many parents and their children discuss a school change post-GCSE. Kate Hawtin poses two helpful questions:
way around a new campus, forming new friendships and understanding teachers’ expectations. Have you thought about how your relationship with your teachers will change?
Is it change for change’s sake? If you’ve been in the
same school since age 4 or even age 11, A Levels can seem like a natural and needed break point offering the chance to try something new and meet new people. If your move is motivated by the subject choices available, the reputation of teaching staff, careers support or an exemplary Oxbridge preparation offer, then it may be right for you. But, if you really are just hankering after newness
it might be best to look outside school for a new interest, perhaps one that also introduces you to a new circle of friends. By moving schools, you’ll lose teachers that know you and how you learn, and you’ll be faced with a big investment of time - finding your
Smaller class sizes and your increasing maturity will mean focused subject discussions and deeper debates. Often girls describe the ‘learning partnership’ they experience with their teachers at Sixth Form as feeling very different – closer to what they expect University to be like. KATE HAWTIN, Head of Sixth Form, St Catherine’s School, Bramley www.stcatherines.info/explore
Many of our parents relocate from London, looking to settle in the area so their daughter can come to St Catherine’s. We’ve created a brief guide to help you explore the local area and consider possible places to call home. Email Sally Manhire on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01483 899665 and we’ll send your guide to you straight away.
Good luck with the house hunting!
St Catherine’s Prep, Bramley 38 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
GSA Day & Boarding School since 1885 | 4 - 18 years Guildford GU5 0DF | www.stcatherines.info | 01483 899665
Empathy and understanding in our future career paths Berkhamsted Sixth Formers are being prepared for their roles in the future At Berkhamsted Sixth, we aim to help our students to prepare themselves for the future by focusing on the character strengths and skills that will help them to thrive, not just whilst in the Sixth Form, but also once they have moved into the world of higher education or work. We believe it is important for students to become more aware during their time with us, more self-aware, more aware about effective learning through the use of metacognition, more aware of others’ backgrounds, experiences and opinions, and more aware of global issues. One way in which our Careers Department helps the students to develop this awareness is by using the Strengths Deployment Inventory from the company, Core Strengths. Each student completes a short questionnaire, after which they receive a personalised report with feedback on their motivational value system, how that affects the way they behave in a normal situation, and how their motives change when they are in conflict. They learn about the extent to which they are interested in, and motivated by, the welfare of people, performance and achievement, and processes. This helps them to understand that different people on the same team will have different perspectives, priorities and ways of communicating; they learn that getting the best from people and the best results is achieved through individual relationships as
pastoral staff also gain a better insight into how to understand and motivate their tutees. The extent to which they develop self-awareness is striking as they learn about their personal strengths and overdone strengths. For example, by overdoing “perseverance”, they may come across as “stubborn” or they may see that one person’s “ambition” could be interpreted as “being ruthless” by others. As students learn that we all see the world through slightly different lenses, they develop greater empathy, become more
skilful communicators and can learn to “deploy strengths” appropriately. This personal development strategy marries well with a growth mindset, and it is important to note that the students’ strengths are not fixed and do develop as they mature. By learning about conflict sequences, students understand the value of being able to disagree without being disagreeable, and how to use their voices in a constructive manner. After all, we know that companies will want to employ youngsters with the confidence and skill to make their own individual contributions constructively, whilst being curious about others’ perspectives. As we start to build a brand new Sixth Form Centre, our focus remains on noticing and developing individuals’ strengths and skills which will, we believe, help us to prepare remarkable people for an exciting future. MARTIN WALKER, Headteacher of Berkhamsted Sixth www.berkhamsted.com/new-sixthform-a-vision-turning-into-a-realityfor-berkhamstedians
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 39
Preparing students for the future… The outstanding Careers programme at Reed’s School truly sets them apart At Reed’s School in Cobham one of their Core Aims is ‘to prepare students for the future’. This is clearly demonstrated in the way that they support their students to realise their professional ambitions - ensuring that each one has a clear pathway with bespoke guidance specific to their interests and academic leanings. Their ‘FutureCareers Programme’ provides numerous avenues that give them opportunities to explore a wide variety of career options. These events include a biennial FutureCareers Fair; FutureUni Seminars on subjects like Geography, Classics and Philosophy, as well as FutureCareers Seminars with guest speakers from specific career areas, such as law, medicine, A.I. and the environment, drawn from the extensive Reed’s community. The Reed’s FutureCareers programme is also open to local
Secondary Schools as part of the school’s comprehensive Outreach Programme. A platform called Unifrog is used by all students from Year 9 onwards. This brings all the available information into one single, impartial, user-friendly platform to help them make the best choices. It works in conjunction with bespoke oneto-one careers guidance through individual interviews with leading external careers advisers and a strong team of tutors, guided by the Director of Higher Education and Careers. A new Employability Programme, introduced for Year 11, involves significant contribution from a network of former students, parents and external partners. This provides students with opportunities to learn from employers and experience aspects of what it will be like in the workplace. Sixth Form students attend
presentations and workshops covering topics like UK, US and international university applications, Oxbridge applications, apprenticeship opportunities and personal statement workshops. Interview practice for Oxbridge applicants is provided by former pupils, staff, and an exchange system with another school. There is a rigorous approach to checking university applications with assistance also offered for Student Finance applications. To support student and parent presentation evenings, an extensive Higher Education Guide is sent out to all parents and students – an excellent reference to navigate through what can seem a daunting decision-making process. A half-term Newsletter also provides advice for all year groups. After leaving Reed’s, students continue to access the same level of support for university and job applications. The Careers Programme at Reed’s, which fully embeds their ethos of building a community for life, and the dedicated involvement from staff, parents and former students in delivering an outstanding programme, truly sets it apart. SARAH BUTLER, Director of Higher Education and Careers at Reed’s School CONTACT: www.reeds.surrey.sch.uk
40 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
‘Excellent in every category’ LAST ISI INSPECTION
Visit the V I RTUA L OPE N DAY on our website Our Values: An education for life 01932 869001 email@example.com Sandy Lane, Cobham Surrey KT11 2ES reeds.surrey.sch.uk Founded 1813 Patron: HM The Queen HMC Day & Boarding School for boys 11-18 and girls 16-18
EMPOWERING FUTURE LEADERS Register for an Autumn Term Senior School Open Event at www.surbitonhigh.com Boys 4 – 11 | Girls 4 - 18 | Part of the Surbiton High School family | Tel: 020 8439 1309 | Part of United Learning
Cranleigh – A Modern Sixth Form for Tomorrow’s Leaders Thinking about the future… At Cranleigh, Sixth Formers are encouraged to be thinking, being, giving individuals in an environment that supports their growth and independence. Thinking Cranleigh Thinking builds a questioning mindset that enables students to think beyond the test as well as gaining excellent results in examinations. Most students take an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) alongside their A Levels, an indepth project-based qualification pioneered at Cranleigh that enables deeper understanding of a subject about which they’re
passionate. The EPQ is favoured by universities for the research skills and love of learning it provides at Sixth Form level. Being Cranleigh Being helps students to discover who they are and work out how they want to be in the world. Supported by leadership opportunities in boarding and other areas of school life, as well as bespoke leadership courses such as The Ivy House Programme and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the aim is for students to leave Cranleigh with a confident sense of self, a strong understanding of relationships, and the
independence to move into a successful adult life. Giving Cranleigh Giving helps students to understand how they can best serve the wider world. Cranleigh’s key values drive the entire Sixth Form programme, enabling each student to be in the outside world, to think for themselves and beyond themselves, and ultimately to give to the wider community when they leave school and take their part in the world. MR NICK DRAKE, Senior Tutor, Cranleigh School www.cranleigh.org
Excitement on the Sunshine Coast! Eastbourne College’s important role in the town’s renaissance Historic seaside resort, Eastbourne, is enjoying a renaissance buoyed by a postpandemic surge in interest among relocating London families and ambitious plans afoot to create a new Eastbourne Eden Project. As The Guardian recently reported, ‘Eastbourne’s transformation has been bubbling along quietly. . . it’s fair to say Eastbourne is having a moment.’ In September, Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project, visited Eastbourne to discuss a new environmental initiative, part of the Queen’s Green Canopy Project. Working closely with Eastbourne College and other schools in the Coastal Schools Partnership, Sir Tim plans to
make Eastbourne a world-famous centre for people to reconnect with nature, taking advantage of the area’s unique combination of downland, coast, woodland and marshes. Meanwhile, leading coeducational boarding and day school Eastbourne College has unveiled a brand new £35 million
42 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
campus including over 30 stateof-the-art classrooms, sporting facilities, performing arts and social areas. With excellent academic results and record pupil numbers, the school is enjoying its role in the town’s renaissance. Headmaster Tom Lawson says: “Situated in a beautiful seaside location, we believe healthy living, healthy learning should lie at the heart of everything we do. More and more London families are sending their children to board during the week with us – a good direct train service means our London pupils can go home every weekend while some families are relocating.” www.eastbourne-college.co.uk
ALTERNATIVE PATHWAYS TO UNIVERSITY
Preparing for jobs for the future New University of Exeter foundation programmes to widen participation in maths, engineering and physical sciences
New University of Exeter foundation programmes will boost the numbers of young people from the South West and beyond studying maths, science and engineering so they are equipped to take on the jobs of the future. It is hoped the courses will widen STEM participation at university from those living in areas of the country where fewer people go on to higher education. The foundation courses cover the core maths skills needed to progress onto maths, engineering and physical science degree courses. They are designed for those who might not have considered a Russell Group university and may not meet Exeter’s typical entry criteria. Exeter is one of only a very small number of Russell Group universities to offer courses of this type, which provide a supportive route into higher education. As well as accepting A-levels these courses will provide a clear pathway to a degree for students who have taken BTEC courses or other qualifications. They will allow students to spend a year improving their maths skills
before progressing on to their chosen undergraduate degree. A number of scholarships will also be available to support students undertaking degrees with foundation years in programmes across our College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences programmes in the 2022/23 academic year. Professor Nicky King, Associate Dean for Education, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, said: “We’re really proud to launch
our foundation programme pathway, which demonstrates the University of Exeter’s commitment to widening access to our engineering, maths and physical sciences programmes. For any student who has not had the opportunity to demonstrate their true ability in A-level maths, whether through educational disadvantage, exceptional circumstances or making the wrong choices, this programme offers an alternative route into STEM at Exeter.” Dr Houry Melkonian, Foundation Year Programme Director, said: “Exeter’s foundation has been created to support and prepare students for the challenges of an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Physics or Engineering. The programme has been designed for students with the passion and aptitude for a degree, but who may have missed our standard entry criteria for various reasons, and is a call to widen participation and increase access to higher education.”
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 43
Thinking Globally Preparing students to study abroad The number of students applying to international universities from the UK has surged in recent years. At Latymer Upper School, 30% of this year’s Lower Sixth are applying to universities abroad - double the number it was five years ago. Colleagues at peer institutions are also reporting significant increases. It’s clear that more and more young people from across the UK are choosing to apply overseas for the next stage of their education. Last year the number of UK students going to US universities went up by 23%; this could be connected to a ‘Biden Bounce’, but it was no doubt influenced by the relaxing of standardised testing requirements at over 1,000 US colleges. It’s not just the US, however: Trinity College Dublin saw a 26% increase in UK applicants in the last admissions cycle. There are various factors driving this increase. Post-Brexit, UK students have to pay international rates in most EU countries, but in Ireland they enjoy EU rates through the reciprocal Travel Area Agreement. Affordability is definitely a key factor, and the generous financial aid and scholarship opportunities available internationally are a big draw for our many bursary students. Since the introduction of tuition fees, families are comparing the offering at UK universities with those at peer institutions abroad, and there are more English language courses on offer than ever in countries like the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and of course, Ireland. The pandemic has also encouraged people to think in more global terms than ever before, and deprived of the opportunity to travel for 18 months, students may now be more drawn to foreign study.
44 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
It’s all about finding the right ‘fit’ Admissions at hyper-selective US universities are significantly tough. Six universities admitted fewer than 5% of applicants this year (Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, Stanford, and Columbia) which means it is harder to get into the most selective US colleges than Oxbridge. The mistake that most students make when applying, to the US in particular, is to focus too heavily on name brand recognition and rankings and underestimate the importance of academic and cultural “fit”. Latymer students have gone to study at all of the colleges above in the last few years, but in each case the student was a great fit for the college. At Latymer we recognise that our students are thinking globally about higher education and we facilitate applications from a wide range of students applying abroad, including those with significant financial need, to help them find their best fit. Intellectual breadth is important, but admissions teams, particularly at US colleges, also value personality and leadership,values and character, which is why our Sixth Form offering is so well suited to international university applications. At Latymer, we see learning as more than just academics: students cultivate breadth through our Electives programme; a wider perspective through our Global Goals and World Perspectives programme in the lower years; empathy through
INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY APPLICATIONS
timetabled service in the community; resilience through our Life Skills course; and academic independence through the EPQ or Latymer Research Report. For American universities whose conception of education is the whole character, not just the brain, these additional aspects of the curriculum are of real value. Timing is everything We start speaking to students as early as Year 11 as some international universities have specific entry requirements that could affect A level choices. For example, entry to ETH Zurich requires an A Level in Maths, one in Science, and another in a foreign language. For US applicants, Year 11 is also a good time to start thinking about your extracurricular profile, important for the holistic US admissions process. When planning a US application, start preparing for the SAT or ACT in the first term of Sixth Form ready to sit a first test in December. From January of Lower Sixth, discuss college choices, extracurricular profile and build a college list based on fit. Over the summer holidays students should write their college essays, review and
submit it before the application deadlines in November or January. Where can I find out more? There are professional organisations that can help: The Fulbright Commission has a helpful website for UK applicants to the US and runs a selective programme for state school students on behalf of the SuttonTrust. Studyinholland.nl is a great resource for students who are looking at the Netherlands. The University Guys and College Essay Guy have banks of free resources. When seeking external help, families should be sure to engage with reputable providers that are regulated by one of the professional associations: the International Association for College Admissions Counselling, IECA, HECA, or CIS. SIMON LEWIS, Head of International University Applications at Latymer Upper School TURN TO P49 for Inclusion and Diversity at University feature
LATYMER UPPER & PREP SCHOOL
Bursaries at 7+, 11+ and 16+ Up to 100% fee reduction
We provide able young people from all backgrounds with a life-changing education that equips and inspires them to excel in the world.
Latymer Prep School
Latymer Upper School
firstname.lastname@example.org @LatymerPrep @LatymerPrep
email@example.com @LatymerUpper @LatymerUpperSchool
36 Upper Mall Hammersmith W6 9TA 0208 148 4515
King Street Hammersmith W6 9LR 0208 148 4519
7+ Entry latymerprep.org 11+ and Sixth Form Entry latymer-upper.org
Adjusting to a New World Merchant Taylors’ are rethinking their careers programme Let’s face it, unless you’re an actor, broadcaster, YouTuber or TikTok sensation, few of us really enjoy being seen on screen. Yet in the world of daily MS Teams, Google Meets and Zooms (other platforms are available!) we now inhabit, we have little choice but to comply. For school-age children and their teachers, adapting to the pandemic world of online teaching and learning was challenging at best and it is a massive relief to all to be back in our classrooms. But what about careersrelated learning? Face-to-face encounters were the backbone of schools’ careers programmes pre-pandemic. It was normal, expected, that people from the word of work would regularly visit schools for careers talks and fairs. It was also normal,
Careers Convention for Year 9 pupils with alumni offering career insights
Careers at Merchant Taylors’: Adjusting to a New World
expected, that young people would spend time experiencing real-life workplaces. Now, there’s invariably a screen involved. As careers professionals we have had to learn to embrace screen-based careers encounters. Sometimes that has provided great opportunities impossible in the ‘old’ normal. Such as when we ran online “CareersMeets” for pupils with a paramedic (from their workplace in a covid quarantine hotel), an engineer (who talked us through their CAD drawings on-screen), and a fashion designer (from their office overlooking the Eiffel Tower). Last year when the Young Enterprise programme went completely online, our teams learned how to run weekly online business meetings and give presentations and interviews with panels of judges via Teams. We even ran a virtual conference with undergraduate alumni in their universities all over the UK (and Canada) talking to groups of L6 pupils sitting in Northwood. The concept of ‘work experience’ is an interesting conundrum in our new normal world. If, as suggested in some quarters, the way of working
46 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
from bedrooms, kitchen tables and garden rooms, or in partially occupied offices remains for the foreseeable future, how can we safely facilitate our young people experiencing this in a meaningful way. Some organisations are attempting it, but I believe there remains a gap. To be ‘work ready’ our pupils need to develop good online business behaviours and skills just as much as in-person. Hiding behind your initials on a dark screen does not create strong business relationships. Presenting yourself effectively in online interviews is challenging so we are starting to use an online video interview practice platform to prepare our students for those high stakes university and job interviews. At Merchant Taylors’ we are still learning what works best in the new careers guidance world. It feels like a time to re-think some prior assumptions about the way we deliver a programme that effectively prepares our young people for success in the future world of work. SUE GRICE, Head of Careers www.mtsn.org.uk
Black History Month Celebrations at Swaffield School Miss Val Crolle leads assemblies educating the children A key part of this is understanding our shared history. The benefits of our school community’s rich cultural heritage and diversity equips our children to be confident and forward-thinking global citizens.” Ms Hamilton, Head Teacher
“The individuals chosen by our children are amazing role models with enormous skills, talents, and strengths; I have no doubt that in learning about such wonderful people our children will be inspired to realise their dreams for the future.” Ms Crolle, Family & Community Liaison Lead
Swaffield’s series of Black History Month assemblies, included one about the “Resilience” shown by Bob Marley in overcoming obstacles on his way to becoming a world-famous musician. It was in Britain that Marley established himself as an international artist, recorded some of his most successful albums and performed some of his most memorable concerts...
This Black History Month, children at Swaffield School are celebrating influential black women and men from both the present day and history. Each class has chosen a significant individual who is black and British to research, write about, and then paint a portrait. The exciting range of choices include: Scientist, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock; local Olympic boxer, Joe Joyce; cellist, Sheku KannehMason MBE; professional footballer and WW1 officer, Walter Tull. The resulting work will form a display to share with parents and Swaffield’s school community. “At Swaffield, the children are taught the skills and knowledge to succeed not only in school, but in life. EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 47
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
SWAFFIELD WEBSITE LINK: www.swaffield.wandsworth.sch.uk/News/ Community-Projects This links to films from Swaffield [2020 BHM]: Ms Crolle’s Black Lives Matter assembly explains in a clear and sensitive way the importance and impact of this worldwide movement, the need to combat injustice, and highlights the influence that even a single voice can achieve when it speaks out: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G8YufRWYrQ
In our “Red Card to Racism assembly” Ms Crolle interviewed her son, ex-Swaffield pupil turned professional footballer, Kieron Cadogan. Kieron talks honestly about the highs and lows on his journey into football and of his resilience needed to overcome adversities faced on and off the pitch. www.youtube.com/ watch?v=EUnRfbpXeSQ&t=728s Wandsworth Council invited Swaffield to produce a film to be part of their celebration of Black History Month. Watch it here. www.swaffield.wandsworth.sch.uk
TURN TO P19 to read about how the language we use can be changed
Celebrating Black History Month at Alleyn’s School The Minority Students Union have worked hard to explain its importance to fellow students Student leadership has long been a strong feature of Alleyn’s, and it is no surprise that our pupils have taken an active role during Black History Month, just as they have led in our recent work on gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights. In addition to organising a series of events to mark Black history, our Minority Students Union (MSU) – a student-led group dedicated to combating racism – gave an
inspiring address to the student body to explain both why BHM is so important and why it is vital to embrace diversity all year round. Their powerful talk presented personal perspectives on why outstanding figures, such as Yvonne Conolly, remain exciting, inspiring, and relevant; it has also highlighted the value of being proud of one’s own identity, and the need to create environments in
which that pride can be celebrated and respected. With a clear nod towards intersectionality, they highlighted how reactions towards their own identity shaped their sense of self and their daily experiences. Finally, they explained the importance of meaningful allyship and what this requires of us all. For the remainder of the month – amongst various talks and a poster campaign celebrating less well-known inspirational Black figures – the MSU are working with our English Department to review texts for inclusion within our future curriculum. We are proud that they are being so proactive in promoting change in our society. MRS LIZ THORNTON, Head of Lower School www.alleyns.org.uk CLICK HERE to listen to Dr. Sandie Okoro’s interview
48 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY AT UNIVERSITY
Black Bristol Scholarship Programme kicks off! Forty students join £1m diversity initiative Forty Black students are preparing to take up places at the University of Bristol as a new scholarship gets underway. The University’s Black Bristol Scholarship Programme was launched to address the underrepresentation of Black students. Starting this month, the scheme will see scores of students given bursaries, postgraduate funding and targeted careers support. One of the inaugural scholars, David Afikuyomi, who will be studying for an MRes in Economics, said: “I was lost for words when I received the scholarship. This is one of the best things that has happened to me and I’m incredibly grateful. “The University of Bristol has always supported me since I finished my undergraduate degree six years ago. “Ultimately, this funding helps my dream to complete a PhD in Economics. As one of the first people to receive this scholarship, I hope that I can set an example for others with a similar background to pursue their research aspirations.” Funding for the first four years of the Programme – totaling more than £1million – comes from the University of Bristol’s generous community of alumni and friends. It adds to a range of other support which feed into one of Bristol’s core aims: to be an antiracist university. Initiatives include week-long summer schools (Insight to Bristol), support to prospective students and their parents through
David Afikuyomi, one of the inaugural scholars
Year 13 (Next Step Bristol), and free one-to-one counselling for BAME students provided by a specialist partner organisation. The University also runs the Be More Empowered (BME) for Success programme, which employs and trains current BAME students as advocates to work with students and staff to understand challenges faced by BAME students. Over the past five years student undergraduate enrolments to the University from Black students have more than doubled. The Scholarship builds on this success. The £250,000-a-year programme includes: 20 Black Futures Scholarships, which provide undergraduate students with both a bursary and targeted support from the Careers Service, alongside funding to support employability opportunities. Three postgraduate scholarships for students within the University’s Widening
Participation programmes, encouraging students to progress to taught master’s programmes. £125,000 to grow the Opportunity Bristol studentships, which will support around four to five students within the research community to embark on postgraduate research master’s degrees, preparing them to pursue funded PhD opportunities. Four PGCE scholarships to increase the number of Black teachers in the UK’s education sector. Two Black Humanities master’s scholarships per year which will fully fund two teachers to complete the unique interdisciplinary course either full-time or part-time.. Professor Judith Squires, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor, said: “I am really proud to be welcoming our first cohort of Black Bristol scholars. “This landmark scheme provides much-needed positive support for highly talented students, addressing the historical under-representation of Black students at our University. “A huge thank you to our evergenerous alumni community, who are once again helping to change the lives of those who come after them.” Fewer than 1% of the professors employed at UK universities are Black, and few British universities employ more than one or two Black professors. Overall, Black academics make up 2% of the total working at UK universities. www.bristol.ac.uk
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 49
INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY AT UNIVERSITY
The equal-access university Arden University welcomes ethnic diversity Diversity in higher education has long been a talking point at universities across the UK. After all, how can the workforces of the future be truly diverse if we’re not offering equal opportunities for everyone who wants to access a university education? I’ve long been a champion for equality and diversity in education. As a female from an ethnic minority origin and a widening participation background, I personally found it could be difficult to break the glass ceiling and be appointed to senior positions in academia. Sometimes I felt that I had to be 10 times better than my white, male counterparts but would often be unsuccessful at being appointed to senior positions. At Arden University, 64 percent of students in my faculty, the Faculty of Business, are from a BAME background. We also have a higher number of mature students than your average university. We’ve found that by being less rigid with the traditional forms of assessment and applications, and by incorporating elements such as work experience into our application process, we’ve
been able to welcome more students from more diverse backgrounds. Flexibility is also key - remote learning is now commonplace and it gives us a chance to appeal to people with different family circumstances who might struggle to juggle their studies otherwise. Looking at data from the wider higher education industry would suggest that individuals from ethnic minorities make up around 25 per cent of all undergraduate students. As a passionate exponent of diversity in education it’s important to me that we continue to make further inroads into improving this, both at Arden and across the wider higher education landscape. Only by doing this can we allow all young people – no matter their background - the opportunity to work towards their dream career. DILSHAD SHEIKH, Dean of the Faculty of Business, Arden University www.arden.ac.uk/
50 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY AT UNIVERSITY
Supporting students on the autistic spectrum University of Chester uses key funds allowing for smoother transitions The Office for Students (OfS) has awarded £148,281 to the University of Chester and its partners to focus on preventative strategies to support the mental wellbeing of students with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). There are two key points where ASC students are particularly at risk of experiencing poor mental health, which the project will support: the transition to University and the transition to the workplace. A further challenge is sustaining engagement with ASC students to ensure they are aware how they can access support. An online toolkit will be developed for individuals that
will provide carers/parents with information and practical help to make the transition to higher education, provide holistic wellbeing support with specialist staff tailoring activities for ASC students, and job coaching support to prepare students for the workbased learning module they undertake during their second year of study. Continuous student
engagement is planned (where appropriate and if the students are comfortable to participate) to inform future plans. The University currently offers an Early Arrival Scheme for ASC students to arrive a day earlier than other students to familiarise themselves with the environment while it is quiet. The project is part of the mental health funding programme: using innovation and intersectional approaches to target mental health support for students, funded by the Office for Students. READ MORE HERE. https://www1.chester.ac.uk/
Embracing Social Inclusion Wrexham Glyndwr University is leading the way! Wrexham Glyndwr has been recognised as the top university in England and Wales for Social Inclusion, in the rankings produced by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. It is the fourth year in a row that Glyndwr has achieved this accolade.*Statistics show that of young, undergraduate entrants to Glyndwr for the academic year 2019/20, a total of 27.4 per cent were from low participation neighbourhoods – the sixth highest in the UK. Also, in the 2019/20 academic year, 76.2 percent of Glyndwr’s entrants were mature, ranking highly in the UK, and first out of Welsh Universities.
Students with declared disabilities are a further group that are well-represented at the university. Of undergraduate students from the UK who are in receipt of Disability Students Allowance (DSA), for the academic year 2019-20, this was 20 per cent at Wrexham Glyndwr; the highest of any university in the country. Wrexham Glyndwr’s Widening Participation Coordinator, Amber Percy, believes that teamwork is key to the university’s strong performance on social inclusion. She said: “We are inclusive in the work that we do together, particularly with the engagement of potential students. We work with them to support them all
the way from the application stage, to graduation and beyond. Everyone here at Wrexham Glyndwr is happy to help, and I feel that shows when I am supporting students towards the services we have that are available to them.” *Source - www.hesa.ac.uk/data-andanalysis/performance-indicators/ widening-participation www.glyndwr.ac.uk
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UMN 2021 | 51
INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY AT UNIVERSITY
to help you settle in as you will have a reference to some of your favourite memories. 4. Think about what your cooking Nothing quite compares to a home-cooked meal, so why not replicate them at uni? Create a recipe book of your top homecooked meals and snacks and you will be able to recreate some family recipes and really make you feel settled.
How to cope with living away from home? Top tips to help freshers settle at university University students are now beginning to settle back into their uni lifestyle, with freshers possibly making their first moves away from their family home and into their university halls and houses. It has been said that as many as three-quarters of university students feel homesick when at uni so the experts at University Compare have offered some tips to help freshers settle at uni and help create a home away from home feeling.
2. Do things that make you happy Moving into university can be a stressful time, but moreover, it should be something that is really exciting. Part of the settling in process is getting into new habits, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the old ones. Do what makes you happy, whether that is going to the gym, socialising, alone time or even go to a park. Happiness is the key to feeling settled.
1. Consider all senses When moving into your uni halls it can be so easy to focus on how it looks, but it is important to pay attention to how your dorm smells. Smells can really transform a place and make a huge impact on the overall feeling of your place and help create a home away from home for you.
3. Get some pictures You will often see university students have picture walls. Printing off some of your most beloved images of your friends, families and even pets will make your new home feel more comfortable. This is a fantastic way
52 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
5. Get involved It is always advised that you should get to know your flatmates and coursemates. If you strike the right relationship, they can quickly become your extended family. However, there are so many options to meet people and if you don’t quite strike the relationship that you are after with flatmates, you can always join a society to meet new people and try something new. Moving to university is massively stressful and can be a difficult time, but it is important to try and make the most of it because you will look back and realise how good it was. Settling in is hard, and it may take some time, but with the above tips you will get there in the end. You should take the time to assess which university you want to go to and make sure you consider all factors: accommodation, course quality and student life. Charlie Biggs-Thomas
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Mental illness: raising awareness and support Anxiety UK’s research into growing mental health challenges for young people New research released at the end of September in a follow up report to the Mental Health and Young People Survey (MHCYP) 2017, show rates of mental health disorders in children and young people have increased sharply since 2017. The survey of more than 3,600 young people found an increase in the rates of probable mental health disorders from one in nine 6 to 16-year-olds in 2017 (11.6%) to one in six now (17.4%). While in 17 to 19-year-olds there was an increase from one in ten to one in six (10.1% to 17.4%). The survey was carried out earlier this year by the Office for National Statistics, the National Centre for Social Research, the University of Cambridge and the University of Exeter. It examined the mental health of young people asking them their views on family life, education, services and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, while these figures at first glance may paint a bleak picture, it’s clear that the coronavirus pandemic has played a role in the increase in mental health concerns among children and young people as much as it has in us all. Add to that the knock on effect this has had on school work and the level of exam stress young people are dealing with, it is hardly surprising that we have seen an increase in the prevalence of mental health disorders. Nevertheless, it will take time for those who have been affected to recover from the impact it has had on their mental health and many will require support to help them through the months ahead. Anxiety UK has been supporting people with anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression for over 50 years, and its small team of seven staff, many with their own lived experience, are proud of the user-led ethos of the charity. We offer a wide range of support for parents and families worried about an anxious child from our Helping your child therapist-led Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programme (https://www. References 1 https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/ statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-peoplein-england/2021-follow-up-to-the-2017-survey
anxietyuk.org.uk/get-help/helping-your-child/) to our online support groups, therapist-led anxiety management course and our Art for Anxiety Relied (AFAR) group, (https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/gethelp/anxiety-uk-courses-and-groups/). If you or a family member, friend or colleague need help and support with an anxious young person: helpline: 03444 775 774 .www.anxietyuk.org.uk
TURN TO P56 to read design tips about making yourself comfortable over the winter months
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 53
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Staying healthy and happy Tips if you are struggling with overwhelming thoughts post-lockdown what I would recommend to anyone struggling, is to open up and talk.” (*name has been changed) Here are some tips, if you are struggling with overwhelming thoughts: Ask for help – This is so important. If you are struggling, please reach out to your family, friends, school or college; anyone who you know who can support you. You don’t have to go through it alone.
The last 18 months have been difficult and challenging for everyone. Lockdowns, interruption to daily life and in some cases, loss of loved ones, has had a huge effect on us all. In young people in particular, we have seen a significant impact on mental health and worries about their future due to the disruption to education. We asked Ellie* aged 17, to share how she managed her worries and feelings during the pandemic. “I was home alone most of the time during the lockdowns as my parents are both key workers and I’m an only child. Everyone on social media seemed to be
living their best lockdown life - baking, going on picturesque walks, or getting in shape while I was stuck at home on my own trying to study for my GCSEs. I fell into a pattern of comparing myself to them, and feeling really down and anxious. My mum noticed my mood was changing and opening up to her helped me to see that what I was feeling was understandable in this unusual time, and what people post online is only a snapshot of their day. I started reaching out to my friends more on WhatsApp, and found that they felt the same, so we checked in with each other every day and sent silly gifs and memes which really helped. I still feel worried sometimes, but it’s not as overwhelming now. The best thing I did, and
54 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
Get organised – Keeping on top of your work (speak to your teachers if you are struggling) and planning your day will help keep your mind clear and everything on track. Look after your mind – Remember to make time for you and spend time with friends, even if it’s on FaceTime. If you are worried that you, or someone you care about is experiencing problems with food, eating or body image, we can help. Please visit www.anorexiabulimiacare org.uk/help-for-you
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Are You a Good Listener? Being an active and constructive listener Samaritans are convinced of the importance of careful listening when in contact with anyone who is going through a difficult time in their personal life or is struggling with mental health issues. However, this doesn’t mean listening in silence – it needs to be active and constructive listening. If you know someone who might need to talk, it can be a great support if they know that you would be available as a sensitive and empathetic listener when the time is right for them to open up and tell their story. Samaritans’ long experience of listening to those in difficulty suggests that there are strategies that should make the conversations helpful and supportive. For example, focus on the other person, try to make and retain eye contact and have an open-ended amount of time available. Be patient, as it may
take more than one session. Please don’t interrupt and don’t be deterred by silences as it may be that the other person is gathering their thoughts or taking a momentary break. Encourage them through phrases like “tell me more”, and sometimes repeat things back to show that you have understood. Ask questions in a gentle and tactful way, without intruding, and be very wary about offering any advice until you have heard the whole story. GEOFF RICKSON has been a Samaritans volunteer listener for almost twenty years and is also Deputy Lead Advisor of their Step by Step Service (0808 168 2528) which supports schools. colleges and universities in the aftermath of a death by suspected suicide of a student, member of staff or parent.
Please also feel free to suggest calling Samaritans (Freephone 116 123), day or night, for confidential and non-judgmental support.
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 55
LIFESTYLE AND LIVING
Cozying Up Top tips to address the long nights and stay warm with winter looming
This is the time to look around us, to reassess our homes. We have asked so much of them over the last few months, whereas they could in the past feel slightly frozen in time, habitual and predictable. As life has opened up, in contrast, days are now shortening and we are wanting to huddle again, find our cozy corners, and nestle with a good book and a cup of cocoa. It does not mean there are entirely less demands on single spaces to fulfil a variety of briefs; many of us still work from home and have grown accustomed to exercising in the living room… Space is not elastic but as we have seen under duress, can reveal itself quite generously in its interpretations; the same room having very different atmospheres,
revealing multiple identities. We find ourselves doing the best we can with homes that can only do what they can do… So how do we make this work and yet recreate a welcoming, warm and comfortable retreat? The key is in the trifecta of storage, focus and light. A room whose multiple personalities are constantly on show on equal footing can be welcoming in a lovely, slightly chaotic way, because the eye never knows where to stop, and is quite literally constantly distracted. It is not, however, conducive to focusing and relaxing. It is ideal to include within the room or elsewhere in the home, a dedicated storage area for the temporary identities, ie. work, exercise, homework,
56 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
ironing, basket-weaving… So it can all be put away and the room starts to breathe more freely. A more pared down, airy layout, allows for circulation and, indeed, reflection. A certain serenity is infused within a room that breathes, that leaves pauses in its allocation of voids and solids. An adagio rather than an allegro, let’s say. It does not mean the room cannot be lived in and show signs of daily battle scars. And too great pockets of emptiness can lend to the room an air of unfinished business and even coldness. In order to strike the right balance and make a room ‘work’, it must be given focal points. Look at the space objectively and identify its strategic areas: a particularly comfortable armchair, conversation piece of furniture or art, gathering spot like a breakfast bar, large wall or bay window, a fireplace… This then calls for special treatment. Providing it with a backdrop, a striking texture, colour or wallpaper, an area rug or rich frame, statement curtains, plants, funky bar stools, a throw and cushions in accent colours… So that the eye travels quietly on
“Once the space has its rhythm, a home for every tool, function, task and purpose, once it has been given focus and drama, it needs dressing up. And nothing dresses a space like light.” the surrounding calm elements, to have the pulse quicken when it reaches destination. Once the space has its rhythm, a home for every tool, function, task and purpose, once it has been given focus and drama, it needs dressing up. And nothing dresses a space like light. Light lends warmth, depth and colour, creates contrasts and shadows, to better reveal details and textures. Mix it up! Hide uplighters behind a sofa or on a wall to light up wallpaper or curtains – for the inner calm, metime pauses and the rediscovered romance. Set shaded lamps on low side tables at key cozying up and reading spots. For those decadent, last chapters to be selfishly devoured. Install directional spots or narrow beam lamps focused on plants, casting shadows or letting art stand out in all its glory. For the irresistible cackling evening catch up, gossip bouncing on the upholstery. Provide higher light
sources for broader gatherings or more general tasks. Give your rooms - and yourself - the luxury of mood options. Any room, in any type of residence, can be made to ‘work’ by using these three steps. Our homes all have their winning features and their best angles, as well as their challenges and quirks. I am a huge believer in the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, an aesthetic philosophy centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection, in beauty, in nature and in life. I feel now is the perfect time, as we have really gotten to know our homes intimately, inside and out, warts and all, in the middle of unprecedented and unexpected demands on our spaces, to embrace our perfectly imperfect homes and celebrate them, their uniqueness, and how we are made for each other. So look around you, smile and breathe – you are home.
MARIE-NOËLLE SWIDERSKI focuses on quality of life. That includes coordinating the interior architecture and design of her clients’ exclusive residential projects of varying scopes and budgets around the world with her studio GALUCHAT, as well as creating sustainable, thoughtful housing solutions to connect communities and generations and providing access to life-changing, natural hemp oil products to transform health, wellbeing and financial outlook. Marie-Noëlle started her international design career as an intern at Andrée Putman’s design studio in Paris, worked in Montreal and London before moving to Dubai to launch a comprehensive architectural and interior design studio, leaving Dubai in 2012 to settle GALUCHAT in London. www.galuchatdesign.com TURN TO P65 to read about the Sussex property market
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 57
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE MAINTAINED SCHOOL OPTIONS
SOME LEADING MAINTAINED SCHOOL OPTIONS ALL are Ofsted rate “Outstanding”
PRIMARY SCHOOL HEADTEACHER CONTACT DETAILS St Luke’s Primary School Mrs Katherine Watson firstname.lastname@example.org 01273 675 080 Downs Infant School Dr Hildi Mitchell 01273 293653 Downs Junior School Mr Giovanni Franceschi email@example.com 01273558422 Stanford Infant School Madeleine Denyer firstname.lastname@example.org 01273 555240 West Hove Infant School Mrs Wendy Harkness email@example.com 01273 733386 Patcham Infant School Mr Chris Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org 01273 509 766 Barcombe CofE Mr Stewart James email@example.com Primary School 01273 400287 The South Downs School Remo Palladino firstname.lastname@example.org (special school) Cuckmere House School Jim Cameron ContactUs@sabden.org.uk (special school) 01323 691000 Roselands Infants’ School Mrs Kyra Siddall-Ward email@example.com 01323 726764 Polegate Primary School Mrs Claire Martin firstname.lastname@example.org -O’Donoghue 01323482404 High Cliff Academy Miss Abby Kilgarriff email@example.com 01273 041471 Little Common School Mrs Linda Appleby firstname.lastname@example.org 01424 842297 St Peter and St Paul CofE Mrs Angela Hamill email@example.com Primary School 01424 211073 Catsfield CofE Miss Caroline Garland firstname.lastname@example.org Primary School 01424 892247 Netherfield CofE Mr Chris Brown email@example.com Primary School 01424 838323 Robsack Wood Miss Caroline Thayre firstname.lastname@example.org Primary Academy 01424853521 Newick CofE Miss Natalie Alty email@example.com Primary School 01825 723377 Ark Blacklands Primary Mrs Natalie Rankin firstname.lastname@example.org Academy 01424429279 High Hurstwood CofE Mrs Jane Cook email@example.com Primary School 01825733231 Burwash CofE School Mrs Debbie Gilbert firstname.lastname@example.org 01435 882440. Torfield School Mr Richard Preece email@example.com 01424 426303 Parkside Community (Co Headteacher) firstname.lastname@example.org Primary School Derek Hollywood 01435 86457& Helen Punter-Bruce Hassocks Infant School Mr Adrian Bates-Holland email@example.com 01273 842549
58 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
ADDRESS Queens Park Rise, Brighton, BN2 9ZF Ditchling Road, Brighton, BN1 6JA Rugby Road, Brighton, BN1 6ED Highcroft Villas, Brighton, BN1 5PS Portland Road, Hove, BN3 5JA Highview Avenue South, Brighton, BN1 8WW Barcombe Cross, Lewes, BN8 5DN Beechy Avenue, Eastbourne, BN20 8NU Eastbourne Road, Seaford, BN25 4BA Woodgate Road, Eastbourne, BN22 8PD Oakleaf Drive, Polegate, BN26 6PT Southdown Road, Newhaven, BN9 9FD Shepherds Close, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN39 4SQ Buckhurst Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN40 1QE Church Road, Battle, TN33 9D Darvel Down, Battle, TN33 9QF Whatlington Way, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 9TE 63 Allington Road, Lewes, BN8 4NB Osborne Close, Hastings, TN34 2HU Chillies Lane, Uckfield, TN22 4AD School Hill, Etchingham, TN19 7DZ Croft Road, Hastings, TN34 3JT Beechwood Lane, Heathfield, TN21 8QQ Chancellors Park, Hassocks, BN6 8EY
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE MAINTAINED SCHOOL OPTIONS
PRIMARY SCHOOL HEADTEACHER CONTACT DETAILS Eastbrook Primary Academy Mrs Natalie Naylor firstname.lastname@example.org 01273 874 050 The Gattons Infant School Mrs Sarah Gospel email@example.com 01444 235071 St Lawrence CofE Mrs Marianne Brand firstname.lastname@example.org Primary School 01273833229 Blackthorns Community Mrs Sarah Neller email@example.com Primary Academy 01444454866 Seaside Primary School Mr Lee Murley firstname.lastname@example.org 01903876300 Upper Beeding Primary School Mrs Rebecca Linford email@example.com 01903 812 288 Groombridge St Thomas’ Miss Angela Nicholls office@groombridgest-thomas CofE Primary School .e-sussex.sch.uk 01892 864305 Turners Hill CofE Mr Ben Turney firstname.lastname@example.org Primary School 01342715412 Forge Wood Primary School Miss Jo Newton email@example.com 01293850651 Pound Hill Infant Academy Mr Thomas Jordan firstname.lastname@example.org 01293873975 Maidenbower Infant School Mrs Sarah Harper email@example.com 01293 886324 Manor Green Primary Mr David Reid firstname.lastname@example.org School (special school) 01293 526873 Heron Way Primary School Mr James Crump 01403261944 Southwater Infant Academy Mrs Christie Cavallo email@example.com 01403 733254 Broadwater CofE Mrs Natasha Simpson firstname.lastname@example.org Primary School 0190323589
ADDRESS Manor Hall Road, Brighton, BN42 4NF Royal George Road, Burgess Hill, RH15 9SL Trinity Road, Hassocks, BN6 9U 3 Blackthorns Close, Haywards Heath,RH16 2UA Freshbrook Road, Lancing, BN15 8DL School Road, Steyning, BN44 3HY Corseley Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9SF Church Road, Crawley, RH10 4PA Somerley Drive, Crawley, RH10 3SW Crawley Lane Crawley, RH10 7EB Harvest Road, Crawley, Crawley, RH10 7RA Lady Margaret Road, Crawley, RH11 0DU Heron Way, Horsham, RH13 6DJ Worthing Road, Horsham, RH13 9JH Rectory Gardens, Worthing, BN14 7TQ
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 59
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE MAINTAINED SCHOOL OPTIONS
SECONDARY SCHOOL HEADTEACHER CONTACT DETAILS Brighton Hove and Sussex Mr William Baldwin email@example.com Sixth Form College 01273552200 Downs View Special Ms Vanessa Hickey firstname.lastname@example.org School (3-19) 01273 601680 Seaford Head School Robert Ellis email@example.com 01323 891623 The Lindfield School Remo Palladino firstname.lastname@example.org (special school) Glyne Gap School Mrs Kirsty Prawanna email@example.com (special school 2-19) 01424217720 New Horizons School Ms Simone Hopkins ContactUs@sabden.org.uk (part of Sabden Multi 01323691000 Academy Trust, 7-16) Chailey Heritage School Mr Simon Yates 01825 724 444 (special school, 3-19) St Richard’s Catholic School Miss Doreen Cronin firstname.lastname@example.org 01424 731070 Downlands Community School Mr Mark Wignall email@example.com 01273 845892 Hill Park School Mrs Rachel Burstow firstname.lastname@example.org (special school 4-16) 01273422855 Shoreham Academy Mr Jim Coupe email@example.com 01273 274100 St Paul’s Catholic College Mr Rob Carter firstname.lastname@example.org 01444 873898 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Mrs Helen Elphick email@example.com Jubilee School, Horsham 01403 266215 (special school, 2-19) Millais School Dr Alison Lodwick firstname.lastname@example.org 01403 254 932 Tanbridge House School Mr Jules White email@example.com 01403 263628 The College of Richard Mrs Sally Bromley firstname.lastname@example.org Collyer in Horsham 01403 210822 Chichester College Group Mr Andy Green email@example.com 01243 786321 St Anthony’s School Miss Helen Ball firstname.lastname@example.org (special school, 4-16) 01243 785965 Bishop Luffa School Mr Austen Hindman 01243 787741 Midhurst Rother College Mr Stuart Edwards Sarah.email@example.com 01730 812451 St Philip Howard Mr David Carter firstname.lastname@example.org Catholic School 01243 552055 The Weald School Mrs Sarah Edwards email@example.com 01403 787200
ADDRESS 205 Dyke Road, Hove, BN3 6EG Warren Road, Brighton, BN2 6BB Arundel Road, Seaford, BN25 4LX Lindfield Road, Eastbourne, BN22 0BQ School Place, Bexhillon-Sea, TN40 2PU Beauchamp Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 9J Haywards Heath Road, Lewes, BN8 4EF Ashdown Road, Bexhillon-Sea, TN40 1SE Dale Avenue, Hassocks, BN6 8LP Foredown Road, Brighton, BN41 2FU Kingston Lane, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 6YT Jane Murray Way, Burgess Hill, RH15 8GA Comptons Lane, Horsham, RH13 5NW Depot Road, Horsham, RH13 5HR Farthings Hill, Horsham, RH12 1SR Hurst Road, Horsham, RH12 2EJ Westgate Fields, Chichester, PO19 1SB Woodlands Lane, Chichester, PO19 5PA Westgate, Chichester, PO19 3HP North Street, Midhurst, GU29 9DT Elm Grove South, Bognor Regis, PO22 0EN Station Road, Billingshurst, RH14 9RY
GRAMMAR SCHOOL SCHOOL HEADTEACHER Steyning Grammar School Natasha Nicol
6 0 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
CONTACT DETAILS firstname.lastname@example.org 01903 814555
ADDRESS Shooting Field, Steyning, BN44 3RX
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OPTIONS
Annan School Annan School is an inspiring and engaging environment in which everyone develops as confident, thoughtful learners who are happy, love school and make outstanding progress. Its Froebelian ethos encourages self-activity and independent thinking. Its creative and exciting curriculum encourages children to immerse themselves in learning that is meaningful, challenging and has a purpose. Annan School values: Creativity, Risk and Challenge, Respect and Relationships, Community and Wellbeing. Annan is a family-run school where the Proprietors, Mark and Debby Hunter, are involved in every part of school life. Every child is valued and Outdoor Learning and Forest School are a central part of school life for every child. www.annanschool.co.uk
Bedes Bede’s is a co-educational school located on two stunning sites, one by the sea in Eastbourne and one in the heart of the Sussex countryside. Bede’s accepts children from the age of 3 months to 18 years, with entry points at Nursery, Prep, College and Sixth Form. Pupils are encouraged to aspire to be the best they can be, but most importantly they are empowered to enjoy their learning. Its Academic Enrichment Programme, which includes a variety of trips, workshops, masterclasses and competitions, ensures that pupils are provided with expansive and inspiring opportunities to experience life outside its campus. www.bedes.org
Brighton College Brighton College is one of the leading co-educational independent schools in the country, with The Sunday Times awarding it with the title School of the Decade. Its 1,088 students aged 11 – 18, are offered a variety of boarding options so that it can be considered a home away from home. It strives for its students’ happiness and encourages them to participate in a range of sporting and arts activities beyond the classroom. Nevertheless, with its inspiring curriculum the College’s students achieve an academic excellence that allows them to reach the universities of their choice. Entrance at 11+, 13+ and 16+. www.brightoncollege.org.uk
Brighton College Preparatory School Brighton College Preparatory School is the junior school of Brighton College. The school aims to enthuse children with the confidence and desire to reach their own learning potential, whilst delivering an innovative, challenging and broad curriculum which encourages curiosity and inquiry about the changing world. Its main intake is into the Early Years classes of Nursery (3+) and Reception (4+). www.brightoncollege.org.uk/pre-prep-prep
Brighton Girls (GDST) As a founding school of the Girls’ Day School Trust, Brighton Girls has a significance in the history of girls’ education. For ages 4 - 18 years, the school aims to create a supportive and nurturing environment, empowering its pupils so that they can succeed in life and make a difference in the world. Achieving high grades, with 86% of A Level grades awarded in 2021 between A/A*.Its pupils continue their studies at some of the top universities in the UK. Entry points are at Pre-Prep, Prep, Senior School and Sixth Form. brightongirls.gdst.net
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 61
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OPTIONS
Buckswood School Buckswood is an independent, inclusive, co-educational day and boarding school for 10-18 year olds, where every child is empowered not to be ‘the best’ but to be ‘their best’. Small class sizes allow inspiring teachers to support and guide every student through the various educational pathways: GCSE, A Level, IB, and a UFC in Business Management. Whilst academic success is important, Buckswood believes a good education extends beyond the classroom and therefore offers an extensive co-curricular programme, as well as specialist academies for football, rugby, equestrian, golf and netball. Buckswood is committed to making a difference to people’s lives, rewards talent and outstanding ability with academic or sport scholarships, and bursaries. www.buckswood.co.uk
Burgess Hill Girls Our mission at Burgess Hill Girls is to develop your daughter into one of Tomorrow’s Women. Our facilities, curriculum and philosophy are completely designed to provide girls with the skills and opportunities they need to fulfil their potential. Girls have the complete freedom to be bold, to take risks, to challenge themselves, to try new experiences and to make and learn from their mistakes. Burgess Hill Girls accepts girls from ages 2 to 18, with boarding from age 11. It is set in 14 acres of beautiful grounds within a conservation area in the centre of Burgess Hill, West Sussex. www.burgesshillgirls.com
Christ’s Hospital School Christ’s Hospital is a remarkable school; it is the UK’s leading charitable school and largest bursary charity. The School was established in 1552 and provides free or substantially reduced cost places to over 630 of its 900 pupils each year – this is more than any other organisation in the UK. Through first-class education and exceptional pastoral support, Christ’s Hospital provides each pupil with stability and the opportunity to thrive and fulfil their potential. 98% of pupils go on to university and leavers take with them the confidence and resilience they will need to achieve success at university and beyond, as well as to make a meaningful contribution to society. www.christs-hospital.org.uk
Conifers School Conifers School is a co-educational school for children aged 2 – 13 years. Located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, Conifers is able to provide a supportive space for its pupils to explore their passions and follow their dreams. With its aim to give its pupils’ a ‘zest for life’, its pupils are often awarded scholarships at a range of national and local independent schools. Children can join in the Nursery or Pre-School, before Reception. www.conifersschool.com
6 2 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OPTIONS
Cottesmore School Cottesmore School is an award-winning academic boarding prep school for boys and girls in West Sussex, less than an hour from London. Cottesmore is one of the few full boarding co-educational prep schools in the UK and has been preparing children for major public schools since 1894. It provides excellent preparation for senior boarding schools who share Cottesmore’s belief in nurturing a rounded, dynamic individual. Endeavour and fun are the most important elements of intellectual life. Success follows an explosion of discovery and purposefulness. Leavers’ destinations include: Eton College, Downe House, Harrow, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Radley College, Benenden, Winchester College, Wellington College, Marlborough College, Charterhouse, St Edward’s and other top schools. www.cottesmoreschool.com
Cumnor House Cumnor House Sussex is one of the country’s leading independent prep schools for children from the ages of 2 to 13. Situated in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, Cumnor lives by its motto of Aim High, Be Kind and Dare to be Different. It places the child at the centre of all it does, looking each day to help them become the very best version of themselves. The unique Cumnor Foundation offers talented children access to a free independent school education from the age of 8 to 18. www.cumnor.co.uk
Dorset House School Dorset House School in Bury, West Sussex, is a co-educational Pre-Prep and Prep School for children from 4 – 13. `Be the Best You Can Be’ is its school motto, and it is woven through all aspects of school life for both staff and pupils. Dorset House strives to improve continually, everything that it does, and the impact and benefit of this on the pupils’ school experience, is always at the forefront of its mind and i ts prime motivation. `DH’ children are characteristically kind, happy, confident, resilient and articulate. They move on to their senior schools, many with scholarships and awards. www.dorsethouseschool.com
Eastbourne College A traditional heart, a modern mind. Founded in 1867, Eastbourne College has always done things differently. It’s proud of its heritage, but is always looking forwards. Progressive and innovative. Empowering its pupils to question the answers and find their own path in life. Set in idyllic coastal surroundings, this is a place that truly makes a lasting impression. In 2021, 82 per cent of the grades awarded at A-level were A*-B. Fifty per cent of the School’s top achievers were girls with six going on to study at Oxford or Cambridge University. Boarding, day, and family-friendly flexibility included. The main points of entry are Year 9 and Year 12. www.eastbourne-college.co.uk
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 63
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OPTIONS
Great Walstead School Great Walstead is an independent school in Lindfield, West Sussex for girls and boys from age 2½ - 13 years. “Children are born creative, curious and imaginative. At Great Walstead we bring to life a love of learning, a thirst for discovery and a desire to be creative, believing this is enhanced by opportunities to explore in our 250 acre outdoor classroom. This way academic rigour and fun go hand in hand – we call it Mud .” Chris Calvey, Headmaster www.greatwalstead.co.uk
Hurstpierpoint College Hurstpierpoint College is a co-educational day and boarding school for pupils aged 4 - 18 years. With an ambition for its pupils to succeed in their futures, academic excellence is the foundation of a Hurst education. However, they also offer a wide range of co-curricular activities designed to encourage students to try new skills, move beyond their comfort zone, and gain experience in a safe and supportive environment. Along with their emphasis on community involvement and the valuable skills and perspectives developed from it, Hurst ensures its pupils grow into mature and rounded individuals. www.hppc.co.uk
Lancing College Set in 550 acres of the South Downs National Park and just ten miles from Brighton & Hove, Lancing College is a co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 13-18 years old. With some 600 pupils, its vibrant school offers plenty of opportunity for fun and friendship, alongside a strong sense of community. In addition to academic excellence, inspiration and enrichment for every pupil, Lancing College offers so much more: with over 120 different clubs and activities in its co-curricular programme, there is a vast array of possibilities to explore, enhance and challenge the mind and the body. Points of entry: 13+ / 16+ www.lancingcollege.co.uk
Lancing Preparatory School at Hove Day school, co-ed, 3 to 13 years. Key entry points: Pre-School 3+, Reception 4+ and Year 7 11+ Lancing Prep Hove offers a vibrant learning experience on a leafy campus for girls and boys aged 3 to 13. It has 280 children on roll with waiting lists in some year groups. The children take their learning outdoors at every opportunity, with two large school playing fields, a forest school, and school and science gardens. The Pre-School and Snell library lie at the heart of the school with an impressive new-build school hall that is a focal point for assemblies and, of course, lunch! It’s a school where children make excellent progress academically and enjoy outstanding pastoral care, underpinned by an ELSA-trained wellbeing officer. www.lancingcollege.co.uk/prep-hove
6 4 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE SUSSEX PROPERTY UPDATE
Research reveals value in Sussex property market Savills reveal surge in interest in Sussex properties
Fieldhurst, Church Lane, Horsted Keynes, Haywards Heath, RH17 7AY – Guide price £750,000 -
Old Brookhouse Barn, Brookhouse Lane, Framfield, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 5QJ – Guide price £1.75m -
Analysis of average house prices in various towns and cities has shown the value within the Sussex housing market. The figures, put together by property experts Savills using data from the Land Registry, compare the cost of a home in various regional towns and cities. In some areas of the country average house prices that are more than double their county average yet Lewes, at 24.7 per cent above the average, heads the list for Sussex. According to the data the average cost of a home in Lewes sits at £504,617 – compared to an average of £404,619 for East Sussex. In the West of the county, Steyning sits atop with an average second hand house sale price of £466,696, which is 10.1 percent higher than the £423,897 average for West Sussex. However second hand sales for properties in locations such as Uckfield (-10.6%) and Heathfield (-14%), in the East, and Burgess Hill (-9%), in the West, were found to be below the respective ceremonial county average. Rohan Vines, who leads the residential sales team at Savills in Haywards Heath, said buyers planning for the ‘new normal’ are keeping demand high, despite supply being low. “As life has slowly returned to normal, with bars, shops and restaurants open again, the accessibility and convenience of being close to these amenities, as well as excellent schooling, is at the forefront of people’s minds when searching for their next home,” he reports. “Attractive towns and cities that are well connected, have an array of good family housing
stock and a choice of high-performing schools appeal to a broad profile of affluent buyers – and Sussex has this in abundance. It is a county that remains incredibly popular and has proved especially attractive to those looking to relocate from London. “Since the pandemic we have seen a significant and sustained rise in the number of buyers who want to experience village and coastal life throughout Sussex. Recent experiences have caused many people to reassess all manner of things and for some that includes the definition of an acceptable commute – with many now willing to travel that little bit further because they are visiting the office less. Larger family homes with outside space have been the top performers and, more generally, with demand outweighing supply, conditions are very good for sellers and buyers alike, with competitive bidding on those properties that are available being registered throughout the region.”
ROHAN VINES, Savills Sussex www.savills.co.uk/estate-agents/west-sussex-estate-agents.aspx TURN TO P56 to read about Lifestyle and Living
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 65
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OPTIONS
Lancing College Preparatory School at Worthing Day school, co-ed, 2-13 years Key entry points: Nursery/Pre-School 2+, Reception 4+ and Year 7 11+ Lancing Prep Worthing is a small, friendly day school for boys and girls from 2 to 13 years with some 180 children on roll. Based in a Georgian manor house in the Broadwater area of Worthing, the school has bright and airy classrooms and a large field, with plenty of room to run and play. There are only three school rules: Love Learning, Be Kind and Go out into the World and Do Good, and this ethos runs throughout school life. High standards, excellent pastoral care and an impressive track academic record create a school community valued by pupils, parents and staff alike. www.lancingcollege.co.uk/prep-worthing
Lewes Old Grammar School (LOGS) With around 650 pupils, Lewes Old Grammar School is a co-educational day school for pupils aged 3 -18 years. The school prides itself on being a community which is moulded by the individual pupil’s aspirations and needs. Through its curriculum pupils are encouraged to learn how to think, more than simply what to think; to value questions above answers; creativity above fact regurgitation; and the pursuit of excellence about standardised performance. Usual points of entry are Pre-Reception, Reception, Year 3, Year 7, Year 9 and Year 12. www.logs.uk.com
LVS Hassocks LVS Hassocks is a multi-award-winning specialist school for boys and girls aged 11 to 19 with a diagnosis of autism. It aims to enable students to realise their full potential and become independent individuals who are confident and successful, leaving the school to enjoy futures in jobs or further mainstream education. LVS Hassocks has an experienced team of teachers and teaching assistants who are passionate about providing a positive, nurturing learning environment to deliver a specialist curriculum underpinned by three main areas of development – Learning, Growing and Achieving. LVS Hassocks accepts students throughout the year with a current intake of 61. www.lvs-hassocks.org.uk
Mayfield School Described by Country Life as ‘one of the finest schools in the land’, Mayfield School is a leading Catholic independent boarding and day school for 400 girls aged 11 – 18 years. Mayfield believes that the key to success is to encourage and nurture creativity in everything that it does, inside and outside the classroom. This is demonstrated through the wide range of opportunities that it offers, to encourage equally the spiritual, intellectual, creative, physical and emotional development of each student. Main points of entry are 11+, 13+ or 16+. www.mayfieldgirls.org
66 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OPTIONS
Oakwood School Oakwood School offers the very best educational journey, combining academic excellence with support and encouragement. The celebration of each child as a happy, confident and independent individual is central to its ethos, and its strong community and family values underpin this. Oakwood School aims to inspire a lifelong love of learning through a broad creative curriculum that challenges and engages, and by making the most of the outstanding outdoor environment, so that it extends the boundaries of learning. With approximately 300 pupils, ages 2 ½ - 11 years, children can join at pre-school, Reception and in Year 3. www.oakwoodschool.co.uk
Our Lady of Sion Our Lady of Sion is a co-educational, interdenominational school for children aged 3 – 18 years. The school prides itself on offering an inspiring, affordable education in a caring, family community where, with around 400 pupils, every child is known (and knows that they are known). Nurturing the potential of every child, a Sion education offers an ambitious start where pupils are given every opportunity to learn, succeed and achieve wonderful outcomes. Located in the heart of Worthing, in West Sussex, with the beach on the doorstep, the school is also able to take full advantage of its proximity to local sports and cultural facilities, making childhood memories along the way. www.sionschool.org.uk
Pennthorpe School Whether it’s academic achievement, consideration and kindness towards others, or an energetic and positive attitude – excellence underpins all that Pennthorpe does and all that it strives to be. Pennthorpe is where everybody develops into somebody who can confidently take their place in the world and make it a better place. Our broad, skills-based curriculum requires children to be authentic, independent learners; to trust their instincts and be bold. Pennthorpe’s children learn how to learn, then are given the tools and inspiration to challenge themselves. Pennthorpe has 280 boys and girls aged from 2 – 13 years, and accepts applicants at all stages. www.pennthorpe.com
Roedean School Roedean School is a day and boarding school for 600 girls aged 11 – 13 years. It provides a distinctively academic, high-quality, all-round education, within a caring and friendly community in a wonderful coastal setting. Roedean aims to inspire and challenge every student to develop her strengths and passions, to seek the highest academic and personal standards for herself, and to develop a strong foundation for her future. Main entry points are: Year 7, Year 9 and Sixth Form. www.roedean.co.uk
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 67
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OPTIONS
Shoreham College Shoreham College is a leading co-educational school for 371 children, aged 3 – 16 years. Shoreham aims to create a family environment so that children can be individually nurtured during the educational process. Shoreham College provides an academic education where ambition, resilience, creativity and confidence are developed. On its 11-acre site that includes a heated swimming pool and well-maintained sports fields, the school is also able to provide its pupils with exciting opportunities beyond the classroom. www.shorehamcollege.co.uk
Slindon College Slindon College is a day and boarding school for boys aged 8-18 years. The small school population of circa 80 boys means a high staff/ pupil ratio giving the boys a chance to thrive as individuals in an environment perfectly suited to their needs. Teaching staff understand that pupils’ learning paths can be varied and their aim is to encourage pupils to reach their potential by providing a supportive, nurturing and calm environment for boys who have previously struggled in mainstream education. The College accepts applications throughout the year. The next Open Morning is Saturday 12th March. www.slindoncollege.co.uk
Sompting Abbotts Sompting Abbotts is a school for children aged 2 – 13 years. With its Neo-Gothic style, the school bears a resemblance to the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, thus providing a magical environment for its pupils. Ensuring it maintains a small class size with a maximum pupil to teacher ratio of 18:1, Sompting Abbotts aims to recognise and inspire each individual pupil so that they can reach their full potential. The school accepts children to its Nursery at age 2. www.somptingabbotts.com
St Andrew’s Prep, Eastbourne WHERE CHARACTER IS MADE. Shortlisted in the 2021 Prep School of the Year Awards, St Andrew’s Prep pupils are kind, confident and culturally aware and the school’s location, just moments from the sea, is perfect for developing healthy, active and purposeful young people. With an emphasis on pupil collaboration and problem-solving, the school’s curriculum is forward-thinking with exceptional teaching in academic subjects, alongside wonderful opportunities in performing and creative arts and outstanding sports coaching. Pastoral care throughout the school is excellent, and the school’s ahead-of-trend well-being hub called The Snug has been warmly welcomed by parents. Above all, the children are happy; and happy children learn and thrive. www.standrewsprep.co.uk
6 8 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1
SUSSEX SCHOOLS SPECIAL FEATURE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OPTIONS
Vinehall School Vinehall is a leading co-educational day, boarding and nursery school for children aged 2 – 13 years. Whilst fostering a love for learning, Vinehall works hard to challenge its pupils with its innovative curriculum, including Life Skills, Ethics and Engineering, that will enable them to flourish in the ‘real world’. Its countryside location allows its 214 pupils to enjoy the refreshing qualities of nature alongside their studies. Children can join at Nursery, Reception and Prep. www.vinehallschool.com
Westbourne House School Exploring new things, enjoying fresh challenges, developing skills and character, feeling inspired to learn and forming lifelong friendships are all at the heart of a Westbourne House education. Our teachers are inventive and fun and champion kindness. We encourage all our pupils to make the most of the world of opportunities at school and be the best that they can be. Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School for boys & girls aged 2½ –13. Flexi, weekly and full boarding from Year 3. www.westbournehouse.org/
Windlesham School Windlesham School, with approximately 170 pupils, is a prep school on the edge of Brighton that accepts children from the age of 3 to 11. The warm, caring and friendly school aims to give children a sense of belonging, community and respect for others. Its broad and balanced curriculum, experienced staff and small classes are designed to promote an education tailored to individual needs, encouraging children to develop their particular talents and abilities. Windlesham aims to lay strong foundations for each child’s future, helping them to develop confidence, a sense of self and potential. Windlesham aims to instil in them a love of learning and exploration, encouraging effort and enthusiasm. www.windleshamschool.co.uk
Worth School Worth is known for offering education with heart and soul. It is a friendly school with academic ambition, set in 500 acres of beautiful countryside between London and Brighton, and just 15 minutes from Gatwick Airport. It is increasingly over-subscribed to join its community of 640 boys and girls aged from 11 to 18. Worth offers GCSE/iGCSE, pre-IB in Year 11, A Levels or IB in Sixth Form, all taught by inspirational teachers. Pastoral care is outstanding and the co-curricular programme is packed with over 132 activities on offer. A new school library and Sixth Form Centre are opening in early 2022. www.worthschool.org.uk
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AUT UM N 2021 | 69
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | AU T U M N 2 02 1