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‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ William Butler Yeats

Roedean combines a strong heritage with an original and dynamic outlook. The school broke the mould when it was founded, asking challenging questions about education, and we remain determined to further this ethos. This document presents some ideas, questions and statements that help us to consider what we think really matters in schools today; they are designed to be a springboard for discussion and we welcome your thoughts.


IN PURSUIT OF THE ORIGINAL


When the Lawrence sisters established Roedean they knew they had to be original. At a time when women were considered inferior to men physically, emotionally and intellectually, nothing less than the boldest steps would break such an ingrained convention. So they built a school that made a statement: a great stone building, high on a cliff, with its sports fields in front of it. It meant that every morning, with cricket bats in hand, the girls would march out in plain view of everyone – a declaration of equality for all the world to see. Roedean gave its girls a status and a freedom to express themselves that they had never known before, which led to many of the equalities that we now take for granted. One hundred and thirty years on we’re no less determined to challenge convention, giving every student the encouragement and the confidence needed to develop a whole self and the real intellectual enthusiasm required to think as critically and independently as our founders would have hoped.


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHILST YOU GROW UP?


‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’: the natural question to ask as a grown-up looking at youth from your own perspective, but a question that implies that the most important thing in their world is preparation for your world. As important as preparation is, we never want to see young people narrow their motivation and purpose to exam sitting and career planning. We think that growing up happens all too quickly and so we believe in allowing individuals to grow up at their own pace, in a safe and secure place. Our role is to encourage and cherish the excitement, freedom and wonder that comes with youth, and that means allowing our children to enjoy more time being young.


R A T S E A H T E D I S T U O M O O R S S A L C


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N E T F O IS A* T I N I H T I W Those who make their own passions and interests their focus achieve higher than those who limit themselves only to their exams. We want our Roedean students to embrace a wider sense of purpose. We believe that our priority should be with the breadth of extra-curricular activities and personal passions that inspire curiosity and broaden the mind, intellect and spirit. These will, of course, help us get more from exams, but more importantly they will help us get more from life.


WE CAN COME TO SOME SO DISAGRE We believe in putting debate and discussion at the heart of the curriculum. You have the best chance of gaining self-confidence when you have the opportunity to express and defend your ideas. Learning to think on your feet is genuinely challenging but it is one of the most exciting and useful skills to master. The truth is that students are far more likely to find their own voice in a school that prizes freedom of thought, original thinking and even disagreement.


ALWAYS O ORT OF EEMENT


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WE DON’T JUST WANT YOU TO ANSWER QUESTIONS...


Q ...WE WANT YOU TO ASK THEM.

As important as it is to know the answer to questions and to know the date, name the element or solve the formula, all of these things are potential conversation-enders. Asking a question, on the other hand, is a conversation-beginner; a thought-provoker and opinion-inspirer that will exercise the intellect of the student who asked it and everyone in earshot. It is those who ask questions who inspire us to think, so please ask away‌


THE BARRISTER, THE BAKER, THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER MAKER. There is no single type of Roedeanian and there never was. They end up in all kinds of careers, from medicine to politics, from law to acting, from conservation to architecture and from deep-sea diving to design. They never say that school gave them a particular path or career, they simply say that the school made them feel like anything and everything was possible for them, and that’s the kind of tradition we’re keen to continue.


THE BEST TEACHERS ARE THE MOST PASSIONATE LEARNERS


We believe that great teachers have one thing in common: they still think like learners because they still love learning. That’s how they get the most from every pupil and every lesson: they haven’t forgotten what it feels like to suddenly understand something after feeling completely confused, to feel the excitement as the implications of an idea suddenly become clear or to become wide-eyed as the simple becomes profound. And importantly, they also haven’t forgotten what it feels like to need a little help.


OPEN DOORS. OPEN MINDS.

As a school, we invest in things that make a real difference to the education of every individual - brilliant teachers, small class sizes and facilities that can inspire a student whatever subject or interest they pursue. But we are just as keen to ensure that we make a difference to those who would not otherwise be able to access this kind of education. That is why we believe in putting more and more resources into ensuring that Roedean is accessible to more and more young people regardless of means. Equally important is our relationship with the local community, which ensures that every individual here understands her responsibility to the world around her and is at home with people from all walks of life. Our school is a place for students who wish to develop an understanding and respect for the diversity of the world around them. That is the kind of open mindedness we want to help instil.


If a school can ensure that pupils feel comfortable being themselves, even when that means being different from everyone else, then it has taught an important lesson in life. We believe in caring about the things that really matter: things such as friendships, self-esteem, an ability to take risks. We know that once young people feel at home at school, they will begin to learn in a way that suits them and feel the freedom to discover their own passions and ambitions. Our own ambition is to delight in different personalities and characters and allow every individual the opportunity to stand out.


GIVE AS MUCH LIBERTY AS CAN BE GRANTED WITH SAFETY


In 1885, the Lawrence sisters wrote our first prospectus. This marked the start of the culture of liberty at Roedean. It is a culture where there’s laughter every few minutes, where the students find everything interesting, where there are always more questions than answers and where everyone wants to get stuck into everything. Roedean is a school where the people are independently-minded and accepting of difference, where kindness and generosity are the norm, where it’s easy to show your feelings either with a smile or simply by singing. It is a place where jumping, shouting, dancing and any other expression of youthful freedom are celebrated. It’s a culture we are keen to hang on to. As we try to help all the students find a voice that is theirs alone, we have our founders to thank for the culture of liberty that inspires originality.


Admissions Contact our Senior Registrar, Diana Banham at: T.  01273 667626 dba@roedean.co.uk School Office T.  01273 667500 schooloffice@roedean.co.uk Tweet us @RoedeanSchool Roedean School Roedean Way Brighton BN2 5RQ Registered Charity 307063


Roedean School Roedean Way Brighton BN2 5RQ roedean.co.uk


The Start of a Discussion