The Perse School
 

School Life

A happy school where pupils feel safe and secure in the knowledge that they have excellent support

Overview

Pupil happiness is a pre-requisite to academic and extra-curricular success. We provide a supportive community characterised by mutual respect, encouragement and care.

We work very closely with pupils and parents to ensure that each child makes the most of the opportunities available. We encourage every pupil to be the best he or she can be and to become an excellent all-round citizen. Most of all, we want pupils to enjoy school and to develop the skills and self-confidence needed for a happy, successful and fulfilling life.

One of our four values is ‘breadth and balance’.  We are very aware of the challenges and pressures of life within (and outside) a vibrant and busy school, and we work hard with pupils, parents, and staff to try to strike the right balance between work and play, comfort and challenge, instruction and discovery, rules and common sense, questioning and humility, and guidance and independence.

Our pastoral care begins in the term prior to entry with a comprehensive induction programme. This provides an introduction to life at the Upper and an opportunity for pupils to quickly settle into a new environment and start making friends.

Once at The Perse, each pupil belongs to a tutor group of around 11 pupils, which is linked to another tutor group to make a form group of 22. A member of staff acts as ‘pastoral and academic tutor’ to each tutor group, and this ratio of 1:11 in Years 7 to 11 allows tutors to get to know their tutees well and provide meaningful one-to-one support. The tutor is at the heart of our approach to pastoral care. He or she has daily contact with their tutees and develops a strong bond – setting targets and celebrating success or helping pupils overcome struggles, but also more generally as someone the students can trust and talk to. The tutor is usually the first port of call for the pupil or their parents, whatever aspect of school may be on their mind.

Lower School - Years 7 and 8

We want the transition from primary or prep school to be an exciting one, and for every boy and girl to feel safe, happy, and valued. We work hard in the Lower School to develop a sense of belonging and of appreciative pride, and encourage pupils to be aware of, and thankful for, those around them. Pupils also learn to build up their own levels of personal responsibility and develop their burgeoning leadership skills.

Key to achieving our aims is getting to know each child individually early on, and our induction programme (including visits to meet and chat to the pupils in their Year 6 classes, Move-Up Day, Familiarisation Morning and a web-based linking project) helps us to have a good understanding of the individual needs of each pupil before they arrive.  Thereafter, our tailor-made programme of assemblies, tutorials and form time allows tutors to build up and maintain a happy and positive working relationship with their tutees, and with their form as a whole.

Our form rooms are all located next to each other, meaning that there’s a real sense of Lower School space in the School where tutors, Year Heads, and the Head of Lower School can catch up with the latest from pupils – whether it be a quick chat along the corridor on the way to assembly, a word of congratulation in passing, a catch-up in the form room, or a more formal sit-down chat.

Middle School - Years 9-11

Whether moving up from the Lower School or joining The Perse at Year 9, the Middle School is a time of transition and discovery. Our goal is help each child develop the ability and attitude to learn and succeed at the highest level, while also developing respect and empathy for themselves and others.

We take the development of the individual as the driving force behind our work. A co-ordinated study skills programme across the Middle School helps our students develop the 4Rs: Resilience, Resourcefulness, Relating and Reflection. See the Head of Middle School Richard Cross’s blog on this topic.

As they mature, students increasingly take responsibility for their and others’ welfare. We have a student mentor programme, designed so older Middle School students can provide support for younger boys and girls. In the same way, sixth form prefects also help to provide a student support system that ensures all pupils have someone to go to if needed.

Tutors work closely with Heads of Year who set the tone for that year group, celebrating success in year group assemblies and co-ordinating the day-to-day development of students. Students achieve academic excellence in a happy and safe environment, emerging into sixth form life as confident young people who respect their environment and others around them.

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