It is a pleasure to welcome you to Sherrardswood
Our website is designed to give you a glimpse of life at Sherrardswood, of the wonderful pupils we educate and our dedicated staff who nurture and support each student on their own, personal endeavours. I would hope that you will also acquire a sense of our long history of academic excellence, the traditional values we promote and the unique location we are privileged to occupy.
Education here is a balance of many things. We strive to develop both the mind and body, balancing the needs of the individual with the needs of our community. We teach the importance of structure and self-discipline as the foundation for taking charge of one's own success, aiming to nurture and encourage the talents of each and every child through a flexible and broad curriculum. We achieve this in a friendly, yet purposeful learning environment, combining education with a variety of extracurricular activities and sports. Together, our pupils and staff enjoy a full and rewarding school life.
We guide our pupils to be bold, imaginative and reflective young people, well-rounded characters with independent minds who see themselves as valuable members of their community and respect the differences of others. When the time comes to leave school, we want our young adults to have that true sense of self-worth which will enable them to stand up for themselves, and for a purpose greater than themselves and, in doing so, to be of value to society.
We understand that our pupils succeed only when we have high expectations of them. These include full personal effort in their work, considerate and sensitive behaviour towards others and pride in their achievements, as individuals and as a community. Preparing our students to become confident and reflective individuals within our society means we highly value our parents’ active participation in all aspects of school life.
A website, however, can merely give you a flavour of the atmosphere of a school. I therefore warmly invite you to come and visit us, to see for yourself the vision and education we live each day here at Sherrardswood.
Mrs Anna Wright
The Aims, Ethos and Characteristics of our School
Sherrardswood students are happy, confident learners. Students and staff share respectful relationships leading to a strong community. The small class sizes and staff ratios means that there is time to get to know students, their strengths, interests and abilities, enabling the pupils to develop into confident, balanced and tolerant young people able to make the most of the many opportunities on offer.
Sherrardswood lessons are interactive and enjoyable. Our Assistant Head: Academic has enthused our teachers with the importance of engaging the students throughout their lessons. The breadth of curriculum and variety of opportunities lead to well-rounded individuals who care for each other, the school and wider community. Excellent Teaching and Learning in all areas help pupils develop academically, socially, morally, spiritually and culturally, evidenced through lesson observations, learning walks, book scrutiny and fostered during teaching and learning workshops.
Our students have a positive work attitude. With such small class sizes there is nowhere to hide and teachers are very proactive if a student is not showing a good work ethic. Our individualised approach means that we are able to intervene at an early stage. Learning to Learn is our venture improving learning skills and we also hold parent sessions on how to support a child while they are revising. We have introduced Academic mentors this year in the Senior school to support students that need help in organising or managing their workload.
Our students are confident speakers and this is fostered in all of their subjects, through the schools focus on Think Discuss Write. Students record work in a way that they understand after discussing it with their peers. Numeracy and problem solving are valued in lessons and cross-curricular lessons are encouraged, particularly in the summer term, after exams, where this is our focus. Parents always praise how eloquent and confident our students are on Open Day when they do tours or run activities in the classrooms.
Students take Business Studies in Year 7 and they learn about entrepreneurs, finance and formal presentation. They take part in a Dragon’s Den activity to foster their confidence in problem solving, numeracy and public speaking. In Year 8 they take part in an Enterprise day and it is interesting to see the future managers come to the fore on this day.
Learning support time is used to review work, revising, pre preparing for upcoming lessons, having taught intervention or scaffolding the homework so that it can be completed independently later. This builds students’ resilience. We work with several students that have EHCP plans and once their place has been confirmed, we work closely with parents, the child themselves and with external agencies to ensure that the requirements of Section F are met.
Those pupils who have been identified as being most able or talented are recorded and monitored. The education, in terms of pedagogy, is the same: for example knowledge, skills and concepts, high expectations and a variety of approaches. In addition, these pupils are encouraged to develop higher order thinking including reflection, exploration of a variety of views, problem-solving, enquiry, independent thinking and learning. The EPQs studied by students in Sixth Form are useful in consolidating these skills before the students move on to next steps.
We hold STEM days when the Institute of Engineering and other local Science organisations come to us and take the students were off timetable for the whole day, for example building roller coasters and rockets. We have also launched eggs “into space” to test designs for satellites. Observation, discussion and support takes part throughout these days.
Students have access to many adults; class teacher, form teacher, mentor and pastoral leader. The pupils are able to establish good relationships with others and new children integrate very quickly. Students that arrive anxious visibly blossom in a short time. Our small community allows pupils to be who they want to be: show their true colours, which may not have always been the case at other schools. This contributes to the creation of a caring, happy atmosphere and a very positive and fulfilling learning environment. Pupils are wonderfully accepting of each other, their differences and abilities. Kindness is endemic. Our reputation as an accepting and tolerant school is well founded and pupils benefit from the atmosphere of individuality being valued. Our strong pastoral network encourages an environment where students are happy to ‘have a go’ both in the class and at clubs meaning that they are exposed to a wide range of academic, social, physical and creative activities and fosters self-esteem. We have a high level of participation in musical activities and performances, sporting opportunities, clubs, drama and residential and other educational visits and trips across all year groups. Sixth Formers are delighted to act as mentors for younger students and we have a thriving “Mentoring Café”, where the hot chocolates are a big hit!
Students attend many of our internal clubs, one of the most successful being WarHammer. Another hugely popular clubs is debate club, as well as our School Council. Older students are politically aware and involved in school life.
The music department has been ‘instrumental’ in the success of our many bands and soloists, as well as those that are now making money by producing their own music. Many students develop a love of music and performing during their time here, which may not lead to awards or competitions but is very life enhancing for them and us.
Our assembly programme encourages an appreciation of different ideas, backgrounds and cultures. Pupils live in a community at school within which are diverse cultures and religions. We encourage the pupils to celebrate and embrace differences as well as celebrating our uniqueness. This is supported in many subjects including RE, PSHE, History, Geography, Art, Drama and Music. Our ethos based on the Christian values, particularly important to us are kindness and respect. We believe that one must work hard to take one’s place as a valued and valuable member of society, both now and in the future. Our assemblies also address the fundamental British Values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty and Respect & Tolerance.
Rewards and sanctions are clearly and fairly applied and students are very happy in their school. Stars of the Week in both Senior and Prep is a source of pride, particularly as it is announced in the Newsletter.
We listen to pupils’ opinions and feedback through School Council and the Headmistress meets with the Head of School Council to give formal feedback on student requests. We listen to parent representation at PTA meetings and our active and vocal PTA team are very supportive.
Extensive communication with parents ensures that the students thrive, knowing they are supported on all sides. This communication includes feedback from parents through informal and formal discussions/meetings including informal coffee mornings, information evenings as well as Parent Teacher Information evenings. We compile formal written reports twice a year. Our communication with parents includes the weekly Newsletter and other parent communication sent by email. Pupils and parents in Prep are met on the door each morning and evening by a member of staff.
We have recently made large investment in the school's buildings, including the development of a new Early Years centre, new dining room, new Sixth Form Centre, libraries for Prep and Senior as well as the refurbishment and improvement of several areas of the school. We are looking at some major development projects including an expansion of the drive and a new block to replace the existing mobile block and this is currently with architects being prepared for planning permission.
Sherrardswood is an exciting and vibrant school and we hope that your family enjoys being part of our community.