A prep school education is without doubt, a very special thing. Many children will be with us for ten years and importantly, it encapsulates the time in a young person’s life when they are experiencing a lot of changes. They are maturing quickly and changes seem to happen on an almost daily basis. At the top of the school they are just beginning to stretch the boundaries and challenge authority and orthodoxies. Channelled the correct way, this can speed up the development and learning process and pupils can enjoy dramatic successes.
To be at the top of a school and enjoying the challenges of demanding academic work done in an increasingly independent way allows our young people to flourish. To have the chance to be leaders at a time when they are just beginning to be able to take advantage of this responsibility can be a joy to behold. Of course, it doesn’t always go according to plan, failures happen but they are an important part of the learning process. So win or lose, pass or fail, we must help them to develop the resilience to bounce back stronger and wiser. Ultimately this will equip the young people in our care with an openness of mind and heart that will enable them to welcome new challenges and face them with a real strength of character.
The clue of course, is in the name. It remains a core purpose of a ‘Preparatory’ school education that we prepare the young people in our care with the skills, knowledge and understanding to make the most of the next steps in their journey. It is important to remember that we are just a stage in each child’s journey but one where the foundations are laid upon which they will build their futures. There is no doubt that this is a significant responsibility and one that we refuse to take lightly.
John F Gilmour