Aims and resolutions for 2017
"Disability might define what you can’t do, but the only limit on what you can do is your imagination."
Emma Goldsmith, Head of Winchester House School
We are delighted to have just been nominated for ‘Prep School of the Year’ by Tatler Magazine. It made me think about what makes a school special and how we would describe Winchester House to people who haven’t visited us. We have a wonderful new video on our website which helps show our outstanding facilities; the full size Astro, 18 acres of playfields, newly refurbished ICT suite and our Secret Garden. You get a chance to see our wooden panelled dining room and see children engaging in classes. But what we have also tried to capture, which is the essence of any school, is the friendships, the special relationship between the staff and pupils, the genuine fun they have whilst learning and the busy happy atmosphere. Our parents often comment on this, one recently describing us as ‘a uniquely warm, welcoming environment where my children have truly flourished.’ We hope you can discover this yourself at one of our open mornings next year. For more information and to see our new school video, please visit winchester-house.org.
Wendy Griffiths, Headmistress of Tudor Hall
Our recent Aim Higher Conference proved to be life-changing for many of the 200 girls who attended. The panel of inspirational speakers, and programme of intensive workshops, encouraged the delegates to review their aims across all aspects of life, follow their passions, discuss and develop the skills required to achieve the unachievable, and to take every opportunity. With Victoria Prentis MP, founder of the Living the Dream Foundation Zoe Jackson, Invictus athlete and anaesthetist Jen Warren, racing driver and motoring journalist Amanda Stretton, England Rugby Player Harriet Millar-Mills, #rowlikeagirl Atlantic rower Gee Purdy and extreme endurance athlete Sean Conway sharing their life stories, the girls couldn’t fail to be moved. Jen Warren succinctly summed up the conference with her wise words, “Disability might define what you can’t do, but the only limit on what you can do is your imagination.”
With aiming higher in mind, we are delighted to have received planning approval for our new Teaching Centre. The new purpose built facilities will provide 1,400 sq m of teaching space spanning the core subject of mathematics and English, the hugely popular creative arts of textiles, photography and ceramics, as well as food and nutrition. We plan to break ground in the summer of 2017 and complete in time for the start of the academic year in September 2018. As a school, we have always been forward thinking and strategic in our approach and we need to ensure we continue to provide the best possible environment to educate our girls today and in the future.
Jeremy Banks, Headmaster of Beachborough School
The best prep schools are doing considerably more than you might expect and I hope to convey what makes Beachborough unique and special. At Beachborough we stretch the children with a suitably academic curriculum, which is creative and fun, whilst developing their character and personality too. We are proud to say this is working, with 100% success in entrance exams since I was appointed headmaster in 2013, bringing with it 58 awards to over 20 different senior schools including Magdalen College School, Headington and Abingdon. The next few years will be hugely exciting, as September 2017 will see the opening of new facilities and new initiatives that will cement the school’s outstanding reputation. Creating a centre of excellence in Technology, the delivery of a ‘sector first’ new subject (ComTec) and the launch of state of the art IT facilities is just the start and I’d be delighted to tell you more.
Rob Jones, Head of Rendcomb College
I am so excited about 2017, as all the planning of last year is now materialising. We open a new £3.5m Performing Arts Centre with theatre, dance studio and classrooms – bringing a new dimension to the College. We plan to follow this with further improvements to both Sixth Form facilities and our sports facilities.
2017 sees the implementation of an outdoor education programme that starts in Nursery with Forest School, and includes bush craft and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and finishes with Leadership and Service in our Sixth Form.
I am also very excited about the academic plans that build on the excellent results of last summer (pupils averaged three As at A Level.) Our teaching staff are committed to the ideals of a Growth Mindset and continue to develop various areas of their practise and systems. There is a lot more on the horizon but overall my aim is to ensure that I lead a school of happy pupils and staff who are ambitious in their approach to life!”
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