Independent thinking school
Over 100 years ago, the first headmaster of St Christopher's, a Dr Armstrong-Smith, had an idea. Why not bring children into a space where they have a high level of responsibility and mutual respect, set them up with broad, wide open spaces and great teachers. Give them no uniform, but charge them instead with some control of their own education, and insist on a mind-calming three-minute silence at assemblies and the start of each lesson. Then see what transpires. Say that to parents now and they might run away in fear...but hold on...100 years later we now know exactly what happens.
Those who would otherwise be good students do even better, and in more dimensions than they would have ever expected. Children who aren’t performing academically or even enjoying getting out of bed in the morning come alive again. Pupils leave school with a broad range of achievements on top of the ones schools usually like to talk about. League tables are now coming under suspicion for driving a rather empty form of education.
Intrigued? you should be. This is how St Christopher's School is run today....and it excels on many levels.
A Good Start in Life
Every parent wants their children to do well in life and it starts by finding a school that will set them up for their future. Children need to start with good grades, of course, and as strong an academic attainment as possible. But they need something arguably more important too. They need a core confidence in themselves as young people, a sense of their own worth and responsibility. So, take a visit to St Christopher's and find out what children are capable of.
St Christopher's Junior School, for children aged 3 to 11, is comprised of a Nursery, a Reception class, and Years 1 to 6. The Junior School is a special place. The school are proud of the children’s academic progress, their confidence, their love of learning, their care for themselves and each other and their insatiable capacity for fun. Two Nursery classes (Half Monte for children from the term they turn three, Top Monte the following year) and our Reception class are located in a dedicated Early Years Centre. From Years 1 to 6 children are taught in the main Junior School building. There is one class in each year until Year 4, where the year divides into two. Small classes are supported by a teaching assistant in each year group and the maximum class size is 20. The teaching and learning provision is embedded with an ethos of unconditional positive regard that sees teachers respond to children with kindness and authenticity. The St Christopher's Junior School provides children with the opportunities to flourish.
The Senior School begins at Year 7 and continues to Year 11, crucial years in the journey from childhood to adulthood, with children progressing on to the St Christopher's Sixth Form. Senior School is a journey to independence, and the transition is an exciting time. For some, it can also be a little bit daunting, but at St Christopher's there is a team of highly skilled and experienced teachers ready to help and ensure that it is an enjoyable, successful and rewarding experience for everyone. The school provide a close-knit, supportive environment that creates a rich and rewarding educational experience. All within the school are called by their first names and there is no uniform. This helps to build relationships based on trust, mutual respect and co-operation.
St Christopher's Sixth Form is an inspiring and challenging place to learn. During the two years of Sixth Form pupils grow and develop both academically and socially, making the most of the unique environment and many opportunities available at the school. As well as following a rigorous academic programme, the school encourage pupils to play an active part in wider aspects of school life, whether that be through a position of responsibility on the School Council or by taking part in the wide range of extracurricular activities on offer. The St Christopher's Sixth Form is based in its own Sixth Form Centre, which includes common rooms for Year 12 and Year 13, study areas, a garden, kitchen area and classrooms for specific A-level courses. The Centre is the hub of Sixth Form life with registration and tutorials held there and it’s the place where students can study, socialise and seek support.
St Christopher's has been a boarding school since it was founded in 1915, and has a thriving, friendly boarding community which feels like a home away from home. Pupils can board from the age of 10, and the boarders come from all over the world, creating a diverse and welcoming community where friendships are made that will last for many years. The school offer full boarding, where pupils stay every evening of the week, and weekly boarding, where pupils board for five nights a week, usually from Sunday night to Thursday night, going home on Friday evenings. The school also offer occasional boarding, where pupils stay up to two nights a week, and day boarding, which extends the school day from 7.30am to 7.30pm and includes breakfast, dinner and prep time, to support busy family life or those day pupils who have a longer commute.
For further information please see the St Christopher School website.