Our response to a call from current and former pupils requesting that the curriculum incorporates British colonial history and British racial history in a more meaningful way.
Over the course of the past week we have been giving a great deal of thought to how the School should respond to the call for change, across the world, following the killing of George Floyd. We want any response we make to be meaningful rather than a fleeting reaction to social media posts and what follows is our reply to a letter sent to us yesterday by a large group of current and former pupils; it outlines what we are planning to do.
‘In line with our responsibilities as a charity, we have as a school always avoided involving ourselves in campaigning and political activity, except where it is directly linked to education. In considering our response to the current widespread swell of feeling following the horrific murder of George Floyd, we feel that our response should not be one of linking to campaigning groups or political organisations, but should be rooted in education. We feel that one of the most effective routes to change is through education and that there is a role for us, as a leading school, to play.
A group of current and former pupils have contacted us to request that we look closely at our Year 7-9 curriculum, with a view to placing a sharper focus on the inherent racial divisions in our society. We think that we can do more than this, and that we should look more broadly at the problem, but also look beyond our own walls.
What we hope to do, therefore, is to develop curriculum materials to be used across all year groups, from Junior School to Sixth Form, which can broaden the scope of existing teaching in a wide range of subjects, in addition to developing new lines of academic study for pupils. We will make any work we develop available to all schools and to individual students, and it will all be free to access.
A number of teachers have already begun the process of developing such materials for our own pupils to access remotely. This will be our starting point, but we hope to be bold in our plans and go much further. We have always felt that the best way we can contribute to social justice is through the education we provide, and if this can be disseminated more widely, we believe that this will be more effective in making change than almost anything else we can do.’
The Independent Schools Inspectorate carried out an Education Quality and Focused Compliance Inspection in May 2019.
The School received the highest grade possible in all areas.
The quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent.
- The progress made by pupils is exceptional, even when considered in the light of their high ability on entry. Pupils consistently achieve results in public examinations that are far above national averages.
- Pupils naturally collaborate, respecting all abilities. This inclusive attitude supports pupils with SEND in making progress at least in line with other pupils, aided by the strategy of the school’s leadership.
- Pupils enjoy intellectual challenge and are articulate, drawing on a rich depth of vocabulary; they listen critically and write fluently.
- Pupils throughout the school are mathematically agile; many have developed a strong creativity in computing, art and the performing arts.
The quality of pupils’ personal development is excellent.
- Pupils are aware of their own and others’ strengths and limitations, and their attitude to each other is sensitive and well-judged.
- Pupils respond positively to the school’s promotion of choice, and the strong guidance they receive in making good decisions. Their initiatives and actions are frequently a force for good in the school and surrounding community.
- Pupils develop rapidly, intellectually and socially, in the context of ethnic, social and religious diversity supported by a well-funded bursary scheme which reflects the founder’s objective to provide a high-quality education to pupils of all backgrounds and financial positions.
- Pupils develop exceptional resilience through the wide variety of sport, trips and activities provided, and the school has introduced initiatives to encourage all pupils to participate more widely.
The School was also judged to be fully compliant against all of the regulatory standards.
To read the full 2019 report, please click here.
To read the 2016 Regulatory Compliance report, please click here.