Our aims are held in common with Queen’s College, London; teaching and learning are at the heart of everything we do and standards are high.
As an organisation, we are proud of our continued adherence to the values and principles established when Queen’s was founded in 1848, as the first educational establishment in the UK to offer academic qualifications to young women. In the words of our founder, F.D. Maurice:
“We shall be glad to improve our practice every day, not alter our principle.”
1. We value academic excellence for its own sake, rather than the sterile pursuit of marks.
2. We value teaching:
3. We value in pupils:
Bearing in mind our overall vision, and building upon these long-standing values and principles, we have distilled our ambitions for the next stage of our development into the following three aims:’
At Queen’s we aim to ensure every individual pupil reaches her full academic and personal potential.
We seek to attract and retain the most inspiring and dynamic teachers, who are passionate about their roles as educators and have high expectations of their pupils.
Staying true to our heritage as a pioneering institution, we will adopt an innovative, wide-ranging curriculum which harnesses the best uses of technology and ensures our teaching remains cutting-edge. At the same time, we will never lose sight of our fundamental, founding principles of teaching pupils how to think (not what to think); fostering independent thought and intellectual curiosity.
Given our small size, we are able to provide bespoke teaching and support to enable every pupil to progress to whichever is the perfect next stage for her own educational journey. We offer individual attention to every family to assist with this transition beyond Queen’s.
In terms of developing personal potential and helping every pupil identify ‘their thing’, the College offers an outstanding extra-curricular programme, including more than 80 weekly clubs and societies – many of them pupil-led - allowing pupils to experience a very wide range of activities. These include a host of creative opportunities, societies that broaden the mind and many clubs that exercise the body. A comprehensive co-curricular programme at the Preparatory School, including a varied after school club programme, enables our younger pupils to discover new interests and hobbies.
We aim to produce young women of character who are kind, empathetic, tolerant, self-confident (without being arrogant) and resilient. Our pupils are self-aware; they recognise their privilege and are keen to give back, as members of a community in its broadest sense. They bring a global perspective and embrace their role as citizens of a diverse, international city.
Our bursary programme plays an important role in ensuring our pupils don’t simply exist in a bubble of privilege, but interact and work together with their peers from a wide range of backgrounds. Our compulsory work experience and volunteering programme in the Senior College also ensures that our older students go out into, and contribute to, the local community around them. Similarly, at the Preparatory School, pupils regularly raise money for charities and are aware that they are much luckier than many other children; we also run the Queen’s Bees programme for older pupils, which operates like a “mini” Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and includes community service as an important element.
In keeping with our proud heritage of turning out ground-breaking young women, who opened up so many professions and opportunities for women in this country for the first time, we continue to prepare our pupils to be pioneers in new fields, to be entrepreneurs and to foster the skills needed for careers of the future.
While we are enormously proud of our strong feminist tradition and continue to believe that girls learn best in single-sex classes, we are also keen to ensure our older pupils have the best of both worlds by offering a joint programme of workshops, lectures and other co-curricular activities with Wetherby, a neighbouring boys’ school, and engaging in joint activities with other members of the Southwark Schools Learning Partnership.
Queen’s is, above all, a nurturing place which offers tailored support to help every pupil achieve her full potential. We aim to provide wide-ranging opportunities for personal growth, in order to enable every individual to become the best version of herself.
We provide multiple opportunities for pupil leadership through our Prefect programme; our wide-ranging co-curricular programme (described above); our Parliament, which effects real change in the College; and by encouraging pupils to found their own clubs and societies. In the Preparatory School there is a School Council, where each year group is represented, and pupils can make recommendations for improvements to their School; also, every pupil in Year 6 is given a specific Prefect responsibility.
Pastoral care is ultimately the most important thing we do; after all, if a pupil isn’t happy she will not succeed academically. In the College, our ‘Thrive’ programme helps pupils resolve friendship issues, through our peer mentor programme; promotes a zero tolerance for bullying, through our anti-bullying ambassador scheme; challenges the culture of perfection which permeates so much of our society by celebrating ‘Failure Week’; promotes responsible use of mobile phones, through our ‘Queen’s Off Screens’ initiative; and so much more.
Meanwhile, the Preparatory School’s whole ethos is characterised by kindness. QCPS pupils join the College in ‘Thrive’ themed weeks (such as ‘Kindness Week’), as well as having a ‘Big Sister’ mentoring programme, with every pupil from Year 1 upwards given someone to ‘buddy’. There is also a Queen’s Club, which recognises kindness, and at the annual prize-giving awards are given for Kindness and Resilience, not just for academic achievement. At QCPS our outstanding pastoral care is further augmented by two school dogs, one of whom is a trained therapy dog.
In summary, Queen’s is the perfect size to offer both a real breadth of opportunities for all pupils, as well as in-depth, personalised support when needed.