Transition from Lower School

As they enter Upper School aged 14/15, your child’s life is commonly experienced in polarities: love/hate, joy/despair, morality/immorality. Our task is to guide them towards a place of balance and here again the curriculum meets students where they stand. English Literature explores Greek comedy and tragedy; in Modern History the ideologies of fascism and the United Nations are investigated; in Art black and white drawing externalises the inner turmoil, enabling students to work with and ultimately master their turbulent emotions. In this way the stormy seas of adolescence begin to transform into balanced, informed and wise judgement.

Their increasing maturity means students are now ready to exchange the security of Lower School and their Class Teacher’s ‘parental’ role for a more collegiate approach with their Guardian and Tutor (the later chosen by them in Class 10). The Class Guardians support the social and educational development of the whole class. At a time when most students find their educational focus narrowed by their public exam curriculum, students here receive a broad learning experience.

Classes 8 Ball

To aid the Classes 8 with the transition into from two classes into one, the Class Teachers organise a ball in the last half of the summer term. The Class 8 students and some keen parents learn ballroom dancing for many weeks leading up to this and this is a real turning point in celebrating their 8 years with their Class Teacher, parents and each-other.

Sacred Earth (Class 9)

Each year, in September, the new Class 9 and their Guardians spend 4 to 5 days camping at the Sacred Earth site near Horam. This is an opportunity for the new class to bond and get to know the Guardians who have taken responsibility for their journey through our Upper School. Whilst the project’s focus is on re-connecting people and nature, this is also an opportunity for our young people to explore their developing emotional literacy through community derived tasks, whilst enjoying playful outdoor activities that extend their sensory experiences into their surroundings. The programme enables the students to develop deeper connections within themselves, as well as with each other and the natural world. The trip encourages them to feel the excitement of discovery as they develop a sense of belonging through a growing sense of discovering their place on the earth.

For more information you can read our What to expect in Upper School booklet.

“A whole-child approach that is not measured solely by narrow academic tests, but treats the life of the child as important in its own right, and as a preparation for adulthood.” Teacher