We are a happy and harmonious school where pupils are celebrated as individuals and our number one priority is the welfare of our pupils. Put simply, happy girls succeed in school and, more importantly, after they have left us. Our focus on healthy living, mutual respect, integrity and resilience enables our pupils to succeed and thrive in an ever-changing world.
Developing self-confidence, respect for others and being a team player are key to the ethos of the school, and much care is taken to ensure that in each class there exists an atmosphere of hard work and supportive enterprise. Visitors often comment on the friendly, can-do-attitude of the girls and the real spirit of camaraderie that exists within year groups, Houses, sports teams and indeed across the entire school.
The social and emotional development of the girls in our care is very important. We work hard to ensure that individuals’ needs are met at all times and that each girl feels she is valued and respected as a member of our community. We are passionate about our wider cultural identity and the school embraces a wide range of faiths and celebrations. The key life skills of respect, hard work, empathy and perseverance stand strong behind the ‘Honour Wisdom’ school motto.
We take a lot of care to ensure that girls settle well into school from the very start with several transition days, a buddy system and built-in form time so that friendship groups can be built.
Relationships are strong between teachers, support staff, the girls and their parents. Communication between staff and parents is excellent, with regular parental evenings and feedback sessions. In addition to formal feedback, our staff are always happy to communicate with parents on a more informal basis and we operate an ‘open door’ policy. We endeavour to make all visitors feel welcome on our sites.
“The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent…self-confidence, a willingness to take risks, and the ability to articulate individual views and to respect those of others are evident in pupils of all ages.” ISI Inspection Report 2017
At Queen’s, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) is a key part of the girls’ curriculum. The varied programme aims to support pupils in developing the key skills and attributes they need to help them make informed choices and deal responsibly with a range of situations.
We firmly believe that the social and emotional development of our pupils is just as important as their academic growth. We want the girls to feel confident in themselves and their relationships, be thoughtful and active citizens, and feel prepared for the challenges of life beyond the classroom in an ever-changing world. We also know that it is when pupils feel prepared emotionally that they are most likely to meet their potential academically so it is a win/win situation.
PSHE at Queen’s is delivered by a team of specialist staff in dedicated PSHE time. This is an alternative model to that provided in many schools where PSHE is often delivered by form tutors in form time. Dedicated PSHE staff mean we can invest training and planning time to deliver topics that are often sensitive in nature. Our team is passionate, knowledgeable and up-to-date on the subjects they cover. Dedicated time means that the PSHE curriculum does not get swept up in the day to day running of a form. Each session is an hour long and this gives teachers and pupils more time to go deeper into the issues and topics being covered.
The House system
Our House system at both the Lower and Senior Schools is very important to the sense of family that exists here. Girls are allocated a House on arrival with us and soon grow attached to their House buddies within their class and within different year groups. House events include sports days and our annual biathlon, drama, poetry and debating competitions, ad hoc curriculum-based competitions, charity events, quizzes and assemblies. The system is an excellent way for all girls to learn from and understand how it feels to represent a wider group of their friends and peers.
Partnering with parents
Responsibility for the happiness and all-round development of each girl stems from an effective partnership between parents and the school. We like to operate an ‘open door’ policy if parents have any worries or concerns about any aspect of their daughter’s welfare or progress.
If we notice any problems occurring, then we will approach them immediately. A proactive approach to positive mental wellbeing is one that is of paramount importance to us at Queen’s, and we are proud of the value that girls, parents and staff place on being able to raise concerns when individuals are in need and then address them by putting further suitable support structures in place. All the Key Stages have a separate office with space for conversation to take place between girls and the Pastoral Team, in addition, we have a dedicated Pastoral Hub located next to the medical room.
Whilst the Pastoral Team, tutors and mentors provide the girls with superb individual support on matters of an academic nature, co-curricular involvement and in development of the whole person, there are times when individual pupils may require a little extra help from a professional counsellor so an extended pastoral provision includes a drop-in style counselling service for girls and staff during Monday lunchtimes. Girls are able to notify their Head of Key Stage if they wish to have time with the counsellor who is well known to the school and also provides the staff with training sessions in mental health. This service is aimed at girls requiring a little extra support, for example, if suffering a bereavement, examination anxiety or perhaps just feeling pressure for other reasons.
A school community public health nurse from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership also offers fortnightly drop in sessions to our students in the Senior School.
Throughout the year, parents are kept informed about school events and issues through a weekly e-newsletter, emails and letters. Copies of these and all other correspondence can be found on the School’s Firefly VLE.