Stamford School praised in UK’s leading guide to schools
Stamford School is celebrating a highly complimentary review from the Good Schools Guide (GSG), the leading appraiser of UK schools. The GSG is much respected for its forthright, authoritative and unbiased reviews of the top 1,100 independent and state schools in the country. Stamford School is proud of its place in this trusted guide, which each year helps parents decide the best school for their child.
The full Stamford School review can be read here.
A writer from the Guide spent a day at Stamford School in December, meeting the pupils and the Head, Mr Will Phelan, as well as touring the school and observing lessons. The writer also talked to staff, parents and local people about the School.
The review considers and assesses all areas of life at Stamford School. It begins with praise for the School’s academic performance, particularly the wide range of subject choice at A-Level and the popularity of maths, the sciences, economics and business studies. The small average class sizes of 16 at GCSE and nine at A-Level were mentioned, as were the strong examination results.
After observing Latin and Philosophy and Ethics lessons, the writer noted the ‘involved, enthusiastic’ boys who were ‘wriggling in their seats, they were so keen.’ The popular Sixth Form, which numbers 400 pupils, was complimented on its focus and determination; ‘these boys had their eye on the end game. You could feel expectations of the staff and boys were high’ they said.
The accessibility of sport to all pupils was also praised – ‘even the non-sporty boy is encouraged to have a go’ – as were the strong performances of the cricket, basketball, squash, hockey, swimming, triathlon and rugby teams. The 1st XV rugby team was described as ‘formidable’ for being unbeaten last year.
‘Music and art are equally strong’ says the review, noting the numerous whole-schools productions of shows such as Les Misérables, and the ‘thriving choirs, bands and orchestras, ranging from big band and jazz to full orchestra.’ Beyond the classroom, the opportunities to fly and shoot with the Combined Cadet Forces are praised, as are the many Gold Awards achieved in D of E.
Will Phelan, Head of Stamford School, said of the review: “I am extremely pleased that the School received such a positive review in this well-respected publication. The picture painted of the School is one that our pupils, parents and staff would recognise as faithful to their daily experiences, and there is much praise for the teaching, attitude to learning, ethos and extra-curricular programme. It is a pleasure to be around the boys at Stamford School. They really are our greatest ambassadors and so it is pleasing to see the review acknowledge them as “confident, courteous, friendly and grounded.”
“It was also very gratifying that the review should recognise one of the key elements of an education here, that ‘the school knows its boys.’ Through dedicated staff and small class sizes, each boy is recognised as an individual and every effort is made to support them in reaching their potential.”
Principal of the Stamford Endowed Schools, Stephen Roberts, said: “The pupils, staff and parents should be very proud of the school’s review in the Good Schools Guide. The review praised all aspects of school life, from the robust academic provision to the extensive extra-curricular opportunities. The success of the diamond structure at SES – mixed junior school and sixth form classes, single-sex for 11-16 – was commented upon, as was the recent investment in facilities in the form of the sports centre and performing arts centre.
“As usual, the pupils themselves are praised for their manners, grounding and dedication to their studies. The fact that the ‘boys are very involved with the wider community’ is also recognised and examples of their voluntary work for several Stamford-based charities are mentioned. I wholeheartedly agree with the review’s conclusion that the school is “a hidden gem, which will not be hidden for much longer.”
Stamford High School and Stamford Junior School are due to be reviewed over the coming weeks.