To learn is to grow - come to Fulham Prep & see for yourself on 22nd March
One is often asked what makes a good school. Of primary importance is the interaction and communication between the three sides of the educational triangle — child, school and parent. In an ideal world, all three elements would pull in the same direction, with the child’s best interests clearly at the centre.
In today’s ever-changing world, it is important to educate children beyond the boundaries of the classroom. It is more than likely that the children who we are educating today will have at least two different careers, possibly more, and it is for us, as educators, to make sure that children learn how to learn, how to think outside the box and remain open-minded.
Independent schools have the advantage that they do not have to follow the National Curriculum slavishly and, whilst they use it as a guideline, they use their freedom to teach beyond it and are able offer additional subjects such as philosophy, French, Latin and even Mandarin. Specialist teaching for primary age children is another advantage that independent schools provide, enabling children to experience the joy of being taught by someone who has a passion for a particular subject.
Parents in independent schools buy into the independent school ethos, sometimes making financial sacrifices to do so, because they believe that their child will be treated as an individual, with the schools determined, as they are, to achieve the best for every child. The ability to choose a school (within certain limitations) which is the right one for their particular child, at times involving parents sending different children to different schools, is very important to these parents. As part of the triangle, parental support of both the child and the school makes an important contribution to the child’s educational outcome.
Staff are the third essential part of the triangle: Teaching staff share the high expectations of the school and parents for each child. As well as teaching their own subjects, they are usually expected to contribute to the extra-curricula life of the school, which most of them do with great enthusiasm and often considerable expertise, providing role models to their pupils on how to get the most out of life.
Traditionally, independent schools have produced more than their fair share of high achievers in all spheres of life — the opportunities given to children to develop their creativity, try out leadership skills and take on responsibility for themselves and others in a safe and encouraging environment fosters confidence, self-belief and a willingness to have a go, which stand them in great stead in their future lives. Equally important for the 21st century world of work is the ability to work in a team; children learn this not only through playing team sports but also by being part of the school community, working together to put on a production, being part of a ‘house’, standing for the school council or putting together a fund-raising activity.
Mrs Jane Emmett Principal
Fulham Prep School
February 15, 2012