[14:59] Nicola Foley Brought to you by Cambridge Edition magazine, Cambridge Education Guide showcases the region’s top schools, sixth form colleges and adult learning providers. In our autumn/winter edition, we explore topics including charitable initiatives from schools, the benefits of a holistic approach to teaching, and finding a supportive space for neurodiverse pupils.
Your guide to the region’s best schools & sixth forms
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efining our area by numbers may be a blunt instrument but as exercises go, it’s undeniably
between schools and the outside world. Potential employers and entrepreneurs, academics and alternative thinkers, all are narrowing the gap between their worlds and our children’s – by visiting schools, sharing their expertise and inspiring this generation of pupils by outlining a vision for the future and the role they might play in shaping it. It’s inspiring stuff. Curriculums are now being personalised so every child moves to the next stage of their lives with skills and experience that will equip them to realise their individual potential, whether that involves mass leadership or small-scale inspiration. Add the ways that schools are enriching the education experience so exam grades are merely a starting point, and it’s no surprise our schools are a smash hit with parents, pupils and the wider community. No surprise at all, given they’re incubating the minds of the future – something that will ultimately benefit everybody.
impressive. Take our top 100 employers – not just big names, but world-beating ones, too. And they’re continuing to grow fast. Not only are they bouncing back from Covid-19 but, in many cases, doing better now than before the pandemic. You’ll find established businesses and start-ups, some from industries whose roots go back decades or longer, others whose creativity will transform the future. All rely on highly trained people with an ability to think differently and innovate. Pupils attending our area’s schools – the workforce of the future – don’t yet learn by osmosis, but you can’t help feeling that with all that brainpower being unleashed daily in offices, labs and creative spaces, there has to be a certain electricity in the air. It can really feel like it, especially given the connections that are increasingly being forged
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CAMBRIDGE EDUCATION GUIDE 3
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
13 Cambridge International School Cherry Hinton Hall, Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge CB1 8DW 01223 416938 | cambridgeinternationalschool.co.uk This independent day school offers an exciting, international education for children aged two to 11. Pupils from all over the world, as well as the UK, are taught a wide range of engaging lessons in small classes. 14 Culford School Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TX | 01284 385308 | culford.co.uk Set in 480 acres of beautiful parkland, Culford provides first-class boarding and day schooling for ages one to 18. With an emphasis on sport, Culford believes in educating the whole person, delivering a well-rounded individual with excellent academic results.
16 St Faith’s Trumpington Road, Cambridge CB2 8AG | 01223 352073 stfaiths.co.uk
St Faith’s is an independent preparatory day school for boys and girls aged four to 13. The school prides itself on its dynamic community and welcoming personality, with a reputation for excellent academic standards across a huge breadth of subjects.
24 Felsted School Felsted, Essex CM6 3LL | 01371 822600 | felsted.org Only 45 minutes south of Cambridge, Felsted School offers families contemporary boarding options with a choice of three, five or seven nights a week. Pupils can access a wide academic curriculum, balanced with a rich programme of co-curricular activities. 30 Girton Glebe Primary School Cambridge Road, Girton, Cambridge CB3 0PN | 01223 276484 girtonglebe.com A friendly and thriving primary school with an enthusiastic team of staff who are fully focused on creating an interesting, stimulating and supportive learning environment.
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32 Gresham’s Cromer Road, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6EA | 01263 714500 greshams.com
Set among 220 acres in beautiful North Norfolk surroundings, Gresham’s provides a high-quality, fully rounded education for boys and girls from the age of two to 18.
34 St John’s College School 73 Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9AB | 01223 353652 | sjcs.co.uk St John’s is an independent co-educational day and boarding school, offering an exceptional experience to pupils aged four to 13. It won the national best prep school and best prep school head in the Tatler Schools Awards and has a Flexible Learning programme. 40 Kimbolton School Kimbolton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 0EA | 01480 860505 kimbolton.cambs.sch.uk An independent co-educational day and boarding school near Cambridge, Kimbolton is a busy and stimulating environment for pupils between the ages of four and 18. 42 King’s Ely The Old Palace, Palace Green, Ely CB7 4EW | 01353 660707 kingsely.org A day and boarding school, King’s Ely provides an outstanding education for children and young people aged between two and 18, with a broad and balanced curriculum. 52 The Leys The Fen Causeway, Cambridge CB2 7AD | 01223 508900 | theleys.net The Leys is a co-educational independent day and boarding school for 11 to 18 year olds. The school creates an engaged and friendly community in which pastoral care is a priority. 54 Mander Portman Woodward 3-4 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE | 01223 350158 | mpw.ac.uk MPW is a small, independent fifth and sixth form with a range of courses located in the heart of Cambridge, with popular Easter revision courses for children at other schools.
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60 St Mary’s School Bateman Street, Cambridge CB2 1LY | 01223 224167 stmaryscambridge.co.uk
An independent day and boarding school for girls aged three to 18, St Mary’s School is located near the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and offers GCSEs and A-levels.
62 Sancton Wood School St Paul’s Road, Cambridge CB1 2EZ | 01223 471703 sanctonwood.co.uk
An independent co-educational school for three to 16 year olds. As a strongly family-orientated institution, Sancton Wood focuses on the social, emotional and academic development of each child, and offers small class sizes for excellent pupil-to-teacher ratios.
64 Stephen Perse Foundation Union Road, Cambridge CB2 1HF | 01223 454700 | stephenperse.com The Stephen Perse Foundation is a group of independent schools providing excellent opportunities for students, achieving exceptional exam results through a flexible and rigorous academic curriculum, while nurturing personal development. 66 Stoke College Stoke-by-Clare, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 8JE | 01787 278141 stokecollege.co.uk A co-educational day and boarding school for students aged 11 to 18. With small class sizes and excellent pastoral care, every student is given the individual attention and inspiration to achieve their academic best.
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EDUCATION IN CAMBRIDGE
A bright future Ours is a city on the move – though like anywhere else, challenges lie ahead. But today’s school pupils are the problem solvers of tomorrow
e do things differently here. Bigger, better and often with an eye to the future, Cambridge
Positive though all this sounds, there are some difficult balances to be struck. A rising population means that more housing is needed, a challenge being taken on by a plan to build up to 250,000 extra homes – unveiled earlier this year. While everybody agrees that more homes are needed, questions about how and where they’re built are harder to resolve. There’s also a growing drive to make homes greener, with some of our local residents showing the way forward by opening their houses up this autumn to visitors, sharing their experiences of going green and reducing their reliance on fossil fuels – jettisoning the oil tank or gas boiler in the process. Then there’s the uncomfortable reality that while average salaries are rising, the benefits aren’t being equally distributed. Our city remains not just highly polarised but tops the list as the most unequal in the UK, with some residents earning well under £20,000 a year. And the impact this has on the youngest members of society is stark, with a high percentage of pupils on free school meals doing substantially less well in their GCSEs than their more affluent peers. Local food banks, too, are seeing a surge in demand, higher even than during the pandemic as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite. While there are no instant solutions, there is a growing drive to make things better. Charities and community interest groups are joining forces with private-
is one of the fastest-growing local authorities, with a significant increase in households over the past decade. It’s not hard to see why this has happened. Take technology – far from the only area of innovation, but one that runs like a golden thread through many aspects of our daily lives. We’re in the UK’s top ten for the number of tech-related jobs on offer according to one survey. This is courtesy of our area’s ever-growing appeal both to existing big-name firms opening offices and homegrown ‘Cambridge cluster’ companies – numbering close to 5,000 and continuing their rise with a seemingly insatiable appetite for highly trained, highly paid staff. As our city increases in size, the proportion of affluent residents grows too. One survey found that we are home to one of the highest percentages of millionaires in the country. “Cambridge is one of the fastest-growing local authorities, with a significant increase in households this decade”
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EDUCATION IN CAMBRIDGE
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EDUCATION IN CAMBRIDGE
and public-sector organisations to help make our area more equal and inclusive. Coming up with solutions that work requires commitment and creativity – and it’s here that education has a vital role to play. Schools in our area are high- performing and highly successful – and, unsurprisingly, a not-so-secret weapon when it comes to boosting our area’s already sky-high popularity. And while the quality of their teaching and exam results are always going to be an easy win when it comes to parent appeal, the education these schools offer stretches well beyond the classroom and out into the community. Their goal is to produce well-rounded, caring and responsible young adults by ensuring that pupils don’t simply spend their time working towards their exams but get “The education our schools offer stretches well beyond the classroom and out into the community”
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EDUCATION IN CAMBRIDGE
involved in their communities as well, through initiatives spanning mentoring, fundraising and volunteering. The idea of service is alive, well and growing – which augurs well for the future. The values children learn in schools also matter to families, and a recent survey found the landscape was changing; before, obedience was one quality parents valued most in their children. That’s no
longer the case – in its place come things like good manners, hard work, tolerance, respect for others and imagination. And while there are no guarantees, that combination of top-class education with the ability to imagine new ways of solving problems – backed by a city with a superabundance of talent – all suggests justification for feeling at least several shreds of optimism for the future.
“Pupils are getting involved in their
communities through mentoring, fundraising and volunteering”
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Cambridge International School
ucked away in beautiful Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge International School is a flourishing independent day school for ages two to 11. We are a welcoming community of children, parents and staff both from the local area and overseas. Our door is also open to home educators interested in flexi-schooling opportunities. ETHOS Our values and ethos ensure that children can learn and excel in an unpressured, nurturing environment, with a key focus on our pupils becoming confident lifelong learners. With small class sizes (maximum of 16) and staff who are experienced in teaching children from a range of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, our school helps students to be internationally minded and ensures that they value and respect the diversity of their classmates. Each child is given individualised targets, to ensure that they are aspiring to achieve their full academic potential.
LEARNING We focus on the quality of our pupils’ learning, with an emphasis on the question: ‘Am I getting better?’. Our exciting and varied curriculum uses a topic-based approach, allowing thorough inquiry into questions relating to science, history and geography, with links to art, design and technology. Learning in mathematics and English follows the UK national curriculum, and we give specialist lessons in music and sport. Language provision is a top priority; along with Spanish lessons from the age of three, children who don’t speak English at home can receive two lessons a week in their ‘mother tongue’ – and support for English as an additional language (EAL) is integrated into classroom learning. The spacious, green landscape of Cherry Hinton Hall Park allows students to learn and explore outdoors. Along with Forest School – our woodland activity sessions – outdoor space is used for exercise, play and instilling an appreciation for nature. Pupils also take trips to Cambridge and beyond, visiting museums, galleries and other inspiring educational spaces. CHERRY HINTON HALL & BEYOND FIND OUT MORE Further information about how Cambridge International School will support your child can be found on our website. Our staff would be happy to facilitate your visit. To arrange a tour of the school, please contact admissions on 01223 416938 or email email@example.com
Cherry Hinton Hall, Cherry Hinton Road, CambrIdge CB1 8DW
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Culford School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TX
here are few places quite like Culford. It is a school that places the individual at its heart, where teachers are committed to helping every child realise their potential and become the best they can be. You can see such dedication run throughout the school. Whether your child is one or 18 years old, Culford provides a high-quality education and the dynamic support needed to open up opportunities for every pupil. These qualities combine into a highly personalised learning programme, helping each child achieve their aspirations. The Pre-Prep and Nursery, Prep and Senior Schools offer a superb through- school experience for children. Culford takes enormous pride in all of the pupils, who frequently go on to excel in both their academic and sporting pursuits.
Personal tours Please sign up at culford.co.uk
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Indeed, Culford School itself is just as unique as its staff and pupils. A blend of the historic and the modern, the school is set in 480 acres of beautiful Suffolk parkland, with an 18th-century mansion at its centre. It also boasts modern academic and sporting facilities that are the envy of schools and academies across the UK. No matter a pupil’s interest or passion, Culford School provides the foundation for them to flourish. Pupils have secured Key facilities • Championship-standard indoor tennis centre • 25m indoor heated swimming pool • Football programme • Indoor golf studio, outdoor short game area and driving range • Brand-new DT, digital media and innovation centre • Drama theatre and music studio • Dance programme
places at the most respected universities in the world, competed at national and international golf championships and have been ranked among the top ten junior tennis players in the UK. Culford School was also crowned National Golf Champion at the Independent Schools Golf Association Championship. And it’s no coincidence that Culford is currently ranked the top UK co-educational school for tennis by the Lawn Tennis Association. The school sees education as a transformational process, guiding pupils to academic success, giving them clear moral values and developing leadership qualities in readiness for the adult world. SUPPORTING BUSY FAMILIES At Culford School, an ‘extended day programme’ has been designed to help busy working parents by giving them extra flexibility. This allows pupils to come into school as early as 7.30am and leave as late as 6pm for Pre-Prep, 8pm for Prep and 8.30pm for Senior pupils. Culford
Scholarship application deadlines and key dates
11+, 13+ and 16+ sports scholarships deadline: Tuesday 24 October 2023 11+, 13+ and 16+ sports scholarships assessment day: Tuesday 7 November 2023
16+ scholarships deadline: Friday 17 November 2023 11+ and 13+ scholarships deadline: Monday 1 January 2024
also offers full, part and flexible boarding, which can be a great solution. CAMBRIDGE CONNECTION There is a shuttle service that accommodates pupils who live in and around Cambridge, leaving from park & ride stations and delivering pupils to school within 40 minutes . To learn more about the school or organise a visit, go to the website, contact the admissions team on 01284 385308 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Trumpington Road, Cambridge CB2 8AG
points across a pupil’s time at St Faith’s, forming a picture of the development of an individual and allowing the teaching they receive to be tailored accordingly. This monitoring also supports an extremely smooth transition to secondary education, since the pupil’s chosen school will receive a fully rounded profile of that pupil, both academically and emotionally, before they even arrive for their first day. “One example of the changes we made at St Faith’s, based on the data we were monitoring, was the homework arrangements for years 3 and 4, whereby “Pupils’ progress is not measured solely by academic indicators, but also by wellbeing and emotional intelligence”
t has long been the mantra of educational settings that ‘a happy child learns best’ – but what does that actually mean in practice? Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn, Headmaster of St Faith’s School Cambridge, reflects on the highly individualised and tailored approach to learning and pastoral care that is the hallmark of St Faith’s: “We are becoming increasingly accustomed to the idea that many aspects of our lives can be tailored to our precise needs as individuals. At St Faith’s, we aim to lay the foundations for our pupils not only to become life-long learners, but also for each one of them to relish that personalised journey. “This is done by taking a ‘tailored education’ approach, where we track our pupils’ progress very closely, yet also unobtrusively, so we can ensure as individualised an approach to their learning preferences as possible.
Prep open morning Register for our Prep open morning on Wednesday 1 November at stfaiths.co.uk
“At St Faith’s, pupil progress is not measured solely by academic indicators but, equally importantly, by measures of wellbeing and emotional intelligence. Teachers have access to comprehensive data from both CAT (cognitive abilities tests) and PASS (pupil attitudes to self and school) tests in order to inform their differentiated teaching in the classroom. This means that teachers are able to respond effectively to the different types of learners they have in their classes. The results also afford insight into those issues which might be adversely affecting pupils’ self-esteem as learners. Overall, it means that teachers build up a very detailed profile of each pupil in their class. These diagnostic tests are repeated at key
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Personal tours For personal tours, email email@example.com
“‘Tailored education’ means that pupils grow in self-esteem and therein lies its added value. Furthermore, it identifies pupils who might need additional academic or pastoral support at any point in their journey. Children will be unable to fulfil their academic potential unless they also have high self-esteem as learners, and this is why St Faith’s puts such a high value on this close, yet unobtrusive monitoring. “St Faith’s is justifiably proud of its record in this area and can demonstrate the growth in confidence of the pupils, which continues to increase in each year of their school journey. This personal growth is particularly marked in the final two years at the school (years 7 and 8), where the children take on increased responsibility. Every year 8 pupil becomes a school prefect and is given opportunities to lead ‘buddy’ sessions with younger children, which in turn fosters a highly successful vertical integration in the school community. The role of ‘house captains’ promotes pupil responsibility, as does the engagement of outreach programmes supporting local, national and global initiatives. “The St Faith’s teaching community has recognised the importance of ‘tailored education’ and staff have worked extremely hard to apply it to the education that each individual pupil receives. The results are highly impressive, and I am privileged to be the headmaster of a school which has at its heart the ambition for every pupil to ‘be their best selves’.”
pupils in those year groups are now set homework only in the core subjects. “Another important example is that ‘effort and attainment grades’ were transformed into ‘learning habit and attainment grades’, based on the eight ‘learning habits’ developed at the school to underpin effective education. These eight habits have now become thoroughly
embedded in the culture of St Faith’s, and pupils are guided throughout the school year to display each habit with greater levels of both sophistication and fluency. “Pupils are also encouraged to see the links between areas of the curriculum in a skills-based way. Solving a problem in an engineering lesson draws on knowledge from maths, science and computing.
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Moving on up Students entering their final
year of GCSEs have a lot on their minds. But they also need one eye on the future – as big decisions will soon need to be made
or pupils currently in year 11, those looming GCSEs may seem like all that matters just now. But
while they race to complete the syllabus, followed by hours of revision, practice papers and sessions on exam technique, they’re also preparing for the next stage in their education – as they work out where they want to spend their sixth form years. By the time they finish their exams next summer, formal education will have dominated their lives for over a decade. Since the age of four, with few exceptions, they’ve followed a path that others have laid out for them. Now, for the first time, these students have a choice about what happens next. The decisions they make now are likely to have an influence not just on what happens after they leave school but potentially on how their lives pan out. No pressure, then. Fortunately, schools in our area have seen it all before and are ready to help with advice on every aspect of sixth form life, from how to pick the right subjects to deciding on where best to study them. It’s also vital to work out what’s right for the individual student rather than
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being unduly influenced by friends and family – and to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. There’s no guarantee a school that has worked for one person will be perfect for another. For many pupils, a key decision is whether to stay with the school that has known you since year 7 or to opt for somewhere new. And how do you decide whether staying or going is better?
Visiting schools and colleges, ideally several times if possible, is a must – even for students who feel absolutely sure they know where they’re headed in year 12. Yes, set-piece open events can give you an overview, but touring on a normal day is likely to give an authentic experience that will tell you what a place is really like. In addition to thinking about the basics, starting with the subjects the
Schools’ advice to students is to think about their motivation. If they’ve had a good experience all the way through to the end of GCSEs, is a move really in their best interests? Particularly given the fact that however good the new school or college is, it still won’t have the same in-depth knowledge of what makes that student tick – at least at the start – as their previous establishment will.
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pupil wants to study – A-levels for most, but other options like the IB diploma are also on offer – consider class sizes, access to teachers and levels of support. Figure out what environment would work best – a more informal atmosphere where the way you organise your time is very much up to you, or something with a more traditional structure and sense of community. While pupils are rightly thinking about the importance of becoming more independent in preparation for university, it’s important to do this in a way that works for them. Going somewhere large and bustling will suit some students, but for others, a quieter setting where they can learn the skills that will help them thrive at university – albeit at a more gradual pace – can be a better option.
“Individuals who excel tend to be those who have interests outside their studies and have learned to manage their time well”
Academic studies will, inevitably, occupy a large portion of students’ time in sixth form, but there will be plenty of other activities and opportunities to enjoy, from sport and performing arts to leadership opportunities. And, more so than ever before, they will have a lot of say with regards to how they fill their days. It’s all about achieving a suitable balance – though schools are quick to point out that individuals who excel tend to be those
who have interests outside their studies and who have learned to manage their time well. One thing’s for sure. With so many options, regardless of where students end up at the end of their time in sixth form, our area’s schools will do their very best to ensure that pupils are equipped with the qualifications, skills and confidence to achieve happiness and success in the next stage of their lives.
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Education timeline Key decisions to be made at different stages of your child’s scholastic journey
Birth to preschool (rising four) Visit local nurseries and childcare providers. Register as soon as possible, particularly if you require full-time nursery provision at an early age. Visit local pre-preps and remember to check deadlines for registration. It is important to plan ahead – popular schools may have an official deadline but, if oversubscribed, they will offer places based on the date of registration. Age 4½–7 Talk to your child’s current school about their progress and ask for advice on future schools. Visit prep schools (usually from year 2) and note registration deadlines (they are normally in the autumn term of the preceding academic year). Check for details and dates of any assessments that may be required. Age 7–11 If your child attends a fee-paying school, use teachers as a sounding board for senior schools. Attend meetings covering potential future schools (normally taking place from year 4). Visit senior school open days (from year 4 or earlier) and check deadlines for 11+ registration, which are normally the November or December prior to entry. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, it is important to note any separate deadlines, together with 11+ entrance exam dates (these are normally held in January of year 6). Liaise with the school about preparation and flag any concerns you might have. Children that will be sitting the 11+ Common Entrance exam in year 6 will also need to be registered to do so (in October or December for examination in November or January, respectively).
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Age 11–16 Register your child for 13+ Common Entrance/scholarship exams, sat in year 8 for year 9 entry. In year 9, pupils will choose GCSE options, taken in the summer of year 11 – subjects such as languages, art, drama and humanities (this will be in addition to core subjects such as English language and literature, maths and sciences). In year 10 and year 11, visit open events at sixth form schools and colleges to discuss courses, including apprenticeships (from age 16). Register for places. The deadline for registration and assessments/interviews is usually the autumn term of year 11.
Age 16–18 Start planning for life after school. Attend careers talks, visit universities, research UCAS requirements and deadlines: October of the preceding academic year for Oxbridge, medicine, dentistry and veterinary science; mid-January for most other degrees. Accept or defer a university place once A-level results are in (August), or apply for a place through clearing. If workplace- based training and qualifications are the goal, start considering which industry or occupation best matches interests and career ambitions, research schemes and employers.
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Felsted School, Felsted, Essex CM6 3LL 45 minutes south of Cambridge
Boarding School of the Year 2023 Felsted School has been named the top boarding school in the UK by TES ( Times Educational Supplement ). The school has been recognised by a panel of expert judges including school leaders and education researchers, not just on the basis of academic achievement, but on the innovation, imagination and effort that goes into developing children in ways that go beyond the league tables.
world-class education in East Anglia. Cambridge families choose Felsted School for their children, not just for the excellent academic results, but also the huge choice of sports and arts, as well as adventurous and community activities part and parcel of every school day. The beautiful Felsted campus, featuring more than 90 acres of playing fields, pitches and landscaped grounds for exploring, is just a 45-minute bus ride from Cambridge. It’s the setting for an education that encourages individual pupils’ characters to flourish, with skills, talent and passions that will last well into adult life to be discovered, developed and nurtured. BROAD AND EXCITING The academic curriculum is broad and exciting. At the top of Felsted Prep School, 11- to 13-year-old boys and girls have their own domain, where their learning is focused on honing the independent study skills they will need in order to make the most of their education going
forward. Once in the senior school, boys and girls aged 13 to 18 have a huge choice of subjects at GCSE and A-level, as well as the popular option of the International Baccalaureate. Younger children, aged four to 11, have a whale of a time in small classes at the lower phases of Felsted Prep, carefully devised lessons laying solid foundations in maths and literacy, and introducing the wonders of science, languages, the arts and sport.
modern and engaging, taking place in the inspiring surroundings of historic school buildings, or the brand-new Marshall Centre for Learning, a state-of-the-art hub for independent study as well as collaboration. The very able are stretched and challenged to achieve new academic heights, while those who need it are given extra reinforcement. CREATIVITY AND SPORT IN THE SPOTLIGHT One of the sportiest schools in the country, Felsted teams and individual sportsmen and women are often seen lifting national trophies. That said, sport really is for all, with team games at all levels. Every
STRETCH, CHALLENGE AND REINFORCE
Right across the school, pupils at Felsted are given the support needed to make the most of their learning. Teaching is
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pupil has the opportunity to represent the school in competition. Rugby, cricket, hockey, netball, tennis, football, swimming and athletics are all on the table. There are plenty of options when it comes to keeping active and healthy – including yoga, horse riding and dance. The school has its own professional- standard music school, theatre and performing arts studio. These buzz constantly with the sound of young performing artists developing their talents. A link with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London brings world-class instrumental teachers to Felsted, and the calendar is bursting with concerts and productions. Art, too, is impressive: high-quality artwork is showcased within the school and often included in public exhibitions. LEADERSHIP AND TEAMWORKING Pupils at Felsted are encouraged to develop attributes that will see them make a difference to the world in the future, so there are many opportunities to challenge themselves physically and emotionally, and to practise both leadership and
teamworking. The Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and Model United Nations are very popular, and there are countless other chances throughout the school for individuals to take on positions of responsibility and act as role models. Felsted is an international community, bringing together pupils and staff from across the UK and around the world. Working and living side-by-side gives a unique insight into a range of cultures, views and values, encouraging young people to develop true understanding and respect for others. INTERNATIONALISM AND UNDERSTANDING BOARDING BENEFITS While a fifth of senior and sixth form pupils at Felsted are day pupils, the rest choose to board in one of the school’s eight comfortable, modern boarding houses. These are a home from home, offering accommodation in either shared rooms or single bedrooms (depending on ages), quiet places to study and communal areas for fun group activities. Houseparents care for the boarders 24/7, and there is a real family atmosphere. WELLBEING Wellbeing of pupils at Felsted is top priority. Each member of the school community is known, valued and supported by a network of experienced teaching and non-teaching staff, totally dedicated to their care. The school has a Wellbeing Centre, and an established programme of activities and initiatives for promoting good mental health. There
is also a fully equipped medical centre on campus, staffed by qualified healthcare professionals, available to pupils and staff day or night. VISIT FELSTED! The best way to find out about Felsted is to visit and chat to pupils, as well as Felsted Head, Chris Townsend, and Head of Felsted Prep, Miranda Norris. For more info and to book an open morning, visit felsted.org or call the friendly admissions team on 01371 822605. Alternatively, you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org
A-levels & IB diploma
Ages four to 18
Day & boarding
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t’s not uncommon to have a slightly jaundiced view of our fellow humans, particularly when it comes to helping others. And you don’t have to look too far to find facts and figures which reinforce the sense that doing good is just so early millennium. Studies suggest that the percentage of people taking part in sponsored fundraising events has dropped by almost half since 2018. Donations to charity have taken a similar hit, falling by over a billion pounds between 2020 and 2021, according to the Charities Aid Foundation. Of course, there have been other factors at work, Covid-19 in particular, and it could well be that the trend reverses in the months to come. Anyone seeking inspiration in the meantime could do worse than follow the example of our area’s schools, which are full of heartening stories. Here, the desire to give back isn’t just growing, but never went away in the first place. After all, the link between schools and service goes back decades – and more. You could even say it’s in schools’ DNA given that many, including some in our area, were founded to do good by providing deserving children with a first-class free Schools throughout the region are emphasising the importance of community ties, providing initiatives that make a difference
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or heavily subsidised education that would take them out of poverty. The result has been continuing strong links with the local community – and a desire to give back – that endure to this day. No wonder schools’ dedication to serving others is no mere tick-box exercise, but rather a whole-hearted commitment where links with organisations, local and further afield, are strengthened over time. For many, a major focus is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, where pupils aged 14 and above work towards bronze, silver and gold awards, each of which includes a substantial volunteering component. Schools in our area can be highly innovative in the way this works. Some
“Just about everywhere you look – from community orchards to sports participation programmes – you will find pupils from our schools doing their bit”
have developed close ties with their local neighbourhoods. One school even plays a leading part in the organisation of the annual community fair, with pupil volunteers helping to run stalls. Others get involved in everything from litter picking to collaborating with primary schools, working with the office team to provide useful admin backup,
cataloguing books for a new school library, and even supporting potentially disengaged young pupils, using games, discussions and trips to help them see education in a better light – sometimes for the first time. Just about everywhere you look – from community orchards to sports participation programmes, charity shops to fundraising art exhibitions – you
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will find pupils from our schools doing their bit. In a location notable for its energy and innovation, it’s no surprise to hear that schools’ ambitions don’t just involve the immediate area, but stretch well beyond. Pupils from local schools and colleges are also involved in overseas projects that give them valuable insights into global issues – as well as, hopefully, inspiring them to want to make the world a better place. It’s all about fostering an ethos of looking after others, helping students become the best version of themselves by caring for and nurturing others, while learning some highly practical skills along the way (and having a lot of fun). While community service takes many forms, expectations remain consistently high, with pupils expected to commit to their volunteering roles conscientiously and complete their work thoroughly and to a high standard – at least one school asks the organisations they work for to complete feedback forms. After all, while pupils may be contributing their time and effort for free, they’re gaining expertise and new skills in return. Serving society at large, and bringing pupils and staff into contact with both people from other schools and the local community, helps to build valuable bonds and greater understanding – that can only be a good thing. Above all else, however, is the sense of achievement pupils experience when they see how influential their contribution can be. As the saying goes, nothing succeeds like success. Not to mention, seeing relationships develop and giving pupils a first-hand demonstration of how helping others contributes to their own growth as individuals can prove to be a remarkably powerful lesson.
CAMBRIDGE EDUCATION GUIDE 29
Girton Glebe Primary School
Cambridge Road, Girton, Cambridge CB3 0PN
village school at the heart of its community.
An enriched, internationally focused curriculum and close links with the Girton community ensure that Girton Glebe pupils develop a lifelong love of learning plus the skills and knowledge they need to prepare for academic success – and 21st-century life. Our pupil outcomes continue to be exceptionally strong; in the year 2023, approximately 40% of children leaving us achieved ‘greater depth’ in their KS2 SATs in maths, reading and writing, with more than 50% achieving it in grammar, punctuation and spelling. Teacher assessments in science were similarly strong, and the performance of pupils achieving ‘expected standard’ was well in excess of the national average.
Pupils show pride in their school. Pupils are happy, motivated and ready to learn the broad and varied curriculum on offer. This includes the very youngest children who have recently just started school” Ofsted 2022
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lessons, gymnastics, art, programming and even magic further enhance pupils’ development. Close links with Girton Town Charity ensure all children can access extracurricular clubs and activities. Forest School, a holistic learning opportunity that nurtures creativity, confidence and independence, is available to all pupils at Girton Glebe to support their personal development. COMMUNITY A core principle of the IB is to develop caring children who make a positive difference to their local area. Pupils enjoy taking part in community-based projects, such as maintaining a shared garden and visiting a local care home. Pupils who join Girton Glebe benefit from a seamless transition to the IVC learning community when they leave year 6, ready to continue their IB education at one of the country’s leading state schools.
through transdisciplinary themes, such as ‘sharing our planet’, ‘how the world works’ and ‘how we express ourselves’. Through a well-established partnership with Impington Village College (IVC), one of the UK’s top providers of the IB, pupils at Girton Glebe benefit from specialist teaching including in languages and arts. EXTRACURRICULAR Learning at Girton Glebe extends far beyond the classroom. A wide range of extracurricular activities including music
ENRICHED CURRICULUM From 2024, our curriculum will be unique in the state sector for the East of England. It will be the only state primary school to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). Pupils are taught beyond the breadth and ambition of the national curriculum
Open days 19 October and 14 November , 1.30–3pm
CAMBRIDGE EDUCATION GUIDE 31
ounded in 1555, Gresham’s is an authentic boarding and day school providing a rounded education to boys and girls aged two to 18. The school has excellent facilities spanning a 200-acre site, set just four miles from the breathtaking North Norfolk coast. Gresham’s provides a broad and enriching education, enabling pupils to discover their own talents and develop into confident, well-rounded individuals. THE DYSON BUILDING The Dyson Building opened at Gresham’s in September 2021. Sir James Dyson, a former pupil at the school, enabled the innovative new centre for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education.
The dedicated centre for STEAM subjects disrupts the established narrative that young people must choose between science and the arts at an early stage. By teaching the subjects side by side, pupils see how the knowledge gained from one discipline can be used innovatively in another. Creativity and original thinking have always been the cornerstones of a Gresham’s education; the Dyson Building establishes state-of-the-art facilities to see this continue today. The building is a hub for STEAM education across Norfolk and enables great opportunities for the outreach programme, which is run with local schools. Activities include building and launching rockets, coding Sphero bots and building a model space station.
Cromer Road, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6EA
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“With the rugged Norfolk coastline on the doorstep, outdoor pursuits are at the heart of life here” Tatler Schools Guide 2024
Open day Prep School: Friday 29 September 2023 Senior School: Saturday 30 September 2023
Spaces are equipped with the latest technology, art hubs, IT points and open-air seating areas, turning the spine of the building into a space for collaborating. Extra-curricular activities let students tinker and discover: pupils are designing drones, building electric cars, working with Vex Robotics kits, 3D printing and Raspberry Pi programming. REMARKABLE ALUMNI The school has a tradition of producing outstanding achievers in all walks of
life, including architects, diplomats, engineers, musicians, sportspeople and many more. Old Greshamians have been inspiring others for generations, including renowned East Anglian composer Sir Benjamin Britten, poet W. H. Auden, biophysicist Sir Alan Hodgkin and sportsman Richard Leman. More recently, Old Greshamians making their mark and creating news headlines include international rugby players Tom and Ben Youngs and Academy Award-winning actor Olivia Colman.
A PERFECT LOCATION North Norfolk is a beautiful place to live and learn. The school is located just outside the popular Georgian market town of Holt, surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A weekly bus to and from Cambridge leaves school at 4.45pm on Saturdays, dropping at Trumpington Park & Ride at 6.45pm. Pickup is again from the Park & Ride at 6.45pm on Sundays, for an 8.45pm return. Academic, art, music, drama and sport scholarships are all available.
CAMBRIDGE EDUCATION GUIDE 33
St John’s College School
t St John’s, we believe in a childhood filled with affection, in which children know that they are valued, learn to trust themselves and each other, find and express their voices and discover the differences they can make for themselves and others. Not only this, but they can learn to think for themselves, to question, collaborate, be independent, own and take charge of their learning and their lives. A CARING COMMUNITY A St John’s education is about the whole child. At its core is our focus on pastoral care and wellbeing, starting with our Emotions for Learning programme which is at the very foundation of what we do and how we are as a school. We believe that education at its best is a profound act of care. If we care, then we will notice. If we notice, then we will act on a child’s
behalf. If we act for each child, then each of our children will become their best selves. To be known, noticed, valued and cared for – fundamental things for all of us. These are the essentials of a good childhood, and they are at the heart of the St John’s way. NURTURING INDEPENDENCE & CREATIVITY Our children become independent learners and creative thinkers prepared to question, with their curiosity very much alive. They get the best from themselves and achieve very highly within and beyond the classroom. We aim for our children to develop a real generosity of spirit, to know and care about getting the best from others and doing well when they are with us and when they are long beyond our walls. We focus on creativity throughout the school, both in the way we teach and the way children learn. We prefer to enable children to develop the skills needed to succeed in the future rather than concentrate purely on gaining knowledge, gathering facts and passing exams – although these have their place in any educational environment. This approach creates the right environment for our pupils to find their true voices and realise their potential, secure in the knowledge that they are cared for and supported by the community around them, equipped with a full set of skills to problem-solve, collaborate and adapt. Our youngest children are full of questions, rich with curiosity. We work to preserve and strengthen their questioning and thinking skills. From the earliest age we give them the essential
73 Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9AB
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Open day Our next open morning will be held on Thursday 16 November 2023 . To attend, contact our registrar Mrs Maria Mosher on 01223 353652 or email@example.com tools, knowledge and understanding, but aim to give them more. Our Flexible Learning programme features child-led independent learning, play-based learning in the Pre-Prep, creative and critical thinking, executive functions, digitally enhanced learning, philosophy, compassion and loving kindness – plus outdoor learning, which benefits from the addition of a landscaped forest garden. An Enrichment programme has been implemented with the school’s nine- to 13-year-olds, exploring the development of sustainability projects as well as cross- curricular work and giving space to My Mind (incorporating mindfulness, study skills, tai chi, PSHEE and philosophy as a foundation for critical thinking skills, self-
management of learning and management of self). The aim is to foster a child’s ability to possess their own learning, engage their innate curiosity and creativity, and encourage them to connect with their feelings about themselves and the world. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE From this strong foundation – despite being non-selective at our main 4+ intake – our pupils go on to achieve at the highest levels. This is confirmed by the results of our previous ISI Inspection Report, where the quality of pupils’ academic achievements and personal development were graded as ‘Excellent’. Our exam results are outstanding and, on average, nearly half of our leavers end up gaining
scholarships to the strongest schools each academic year. FIND OUT MORE Visit our school and get to know us during a normal day on an open morning or individually arranged tour. It is important to us that you should have an opportunity to see the school in action, tour each of the school’s sites (usually with the children) and experience its atmosphere, as well as meet us to discuss the school’s educational approach and ask any questions. To find out more and arrange your visit, or book a place on one of our open mornings on 16 November, please contact the Registrar, Mrs Maria Mosher (01223 353652 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
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