Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural
The school is large and vibrant, reflecting the wide and diverse community from which it draws its pupils. Each of its members - pupils and staff - are known, valued and respected by the other people who make up the community.
In the Junior School opportunities to help girls develop self awareness and self confidence are taken through assemblies, pastoral care, the curriculum and extra-curricular clubs. Cultural and religious differences are explored and celebrated, and appreciation of beauty is developed. A sense of awe and wonder is cultivated across the curriculum. Moral issues are raised and explored in a variety of ways and gradually girls learn to distinguish right from wrong and to take increasing responsibility for their own behaviour. Through opportunities to meet the disabled and elderly in the local community, girls learn that they have a social responsibility which extends beyond their fund raising efforts. Outside speakers often contribute to the girls' understanding of wider moral issues and School Council elections and representation offer KS2 girls insight into the democratic process and a chance to influence the running of the school.
Relationships within school between girls and adult / pupils are well developed and mutually respectful. Older juniors and sixth formers help younger girls in various ways. There are plenty of opportunities to exercise leadership and each girl can earn points for her house team through kind and helpful behaviour; and team working skills are further fostered in the many sports teams, musical ensembles and in the cast of a dramatic production.
There are extensive opportunities for developing creativity in all pupils, irrespective of ability, through the music for all policy, displays of art and design work, and numerous invitations to perform and watch others performing. Girls acquire an appreciation of their own culture and an understanding of other cultures in a way that promotes harmony between different cultural traditions e.g.music and art from different cultures; stories in assembly; Japanese theme days, an African drumming workshop.
In the Senior School, differences are celebrated and enjoyed, not merely tolerated, and girls may attend any of the weekly faith assemblies. Relationships between staff and pupils are relaxed and friendly, but clear moral principles underlie them and these are explored and explained through assemblies, the curriculum, the pastoral framework and the PSHCE programme. The behavioural code and anti-bullying policies are crucial to the development of individual responsibility. The cultural and social development of each pupil is encouraged through the creative subjects; the pursuit of excellence in music and drama; the range of activities available through the extra-curriculum programme and school trips, and the efforts made by all staff to broaden and deepen the experience and understanding of their pupils through their teaching.
Leadership and the importance of being an active member of a team are promoted throughout a pupil's career. Girls work together in their forms, their subject classes and their extra-curricular activities, and they are encouraged to take on the responsibilities of leadership as form captains and prefects, and by participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Tall Ships, musical and dramatic productions and in assemblies.
School trips, at home and abroad, help to extend the cultural and social horizons of each girl who participates in them. Support for charities - whether as an individual, a member of a Form or House or a member of the school - is encouraged and recognised. Members of the Upper School and Sixth Form participate in community service, the annual Senior Citizens' Tea Party and Mencap Day. A highlight of the year for the whole school community is the Easter Term’s Charity Fundraising Project in which the Upper Sixth, led by the Senior Prefect Team, put on a series of events backed up by informative assemblies and which raises over £10,000 for charity.