Taking on the leadership of Stroud in 2015, I set out a 10 year development plan and overarching vision calling for sustained and deliberate evolution of the school. This would build on an already strong reputation for excellence in academic provision, without sacrificing the family ethos that has been the backbone of the school for more than 90 years. The most fundamental of these small, but significant changes, was the introduction of core values: Honesty, Respect and Happiness.
As both an educator and parent, I am acutely aware of the person who leaves us at 11 or 13, irrespective of the academic product. Nevertheless, starting with values, rather than examination results, has already shown a clear improvement in academic results. It is no surprise, really, that a happy and honest pupil is more likely to be motivated than one who is driven simply by the next test score.
A non-selective, co-educational day school for pupils aged 3 to 13, Stroud is structured to allow us to focus on the individual, and place the pupil first. As the preparatory school for the highly-academic King Edward VI School in Southampton (KES), we provide academic rigour to equip pupils with all the tools they need for continued success. But the focus is very
much on an holistic education and a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities allow pupils to pursue individual interests as well as participating in team activities.
We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of technological development, particularly in the use of 1:1 pupil technology, and the integration of this in the teaching provision. This is an area of education revolutionising how pupils learn, and one which they embrace willingly. But, we also have more than 20 acres of beautiful Hampshire countryside to explore.
Outdoor education plays a prominent part, using the wooded areas of the school, the farm and the river. Pupils also have access to all the KES facilities including the extensive sports grounds, an Outdoor Education Centre on Dartmoor and a wellequipped watersports centre.
Above all, pupils leave Stroud not only with an essential repository of knowledge, but with the type of skills that will ensure they can succeed regardless of the challenges that await them. Communication, collaboration, courage, leadership, independence and curiosity are our focus. These are rarely actively taught in classrooms, but without them our children have little chance to deal with problems and exercise resilience: most importantly,
to take risks and be able to see failure as “an opportunity to start again, with more intelligence” (Henry Ford).
To see Stroud and its values in action, please contact our registrar Julia Piper at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01794 513231 and I would be delighted to show you round.