Tuesday 18 February 2020

Interview with Head of Wycliffe Preparatory School

Discussing the importance of a quality education and pastoral care, SoGlos talks to Head of Wycliffe Preparatory School, Adrian Palmer.

A leading independent school nestled in the heart of the Cotswolds, Wycliffe Preparatory School provides its students with an excellent education and pastoral care, welcoming children aged two to 13 years old.

Wycliffe Prep School’s Head, Adrian Palmer, talks to SoGlos for an insightful interview, discussing the importance of a good education, benefits of independent schooling, and how parents can find the perfect school for their child.

Can you tell our readers a little about Wycliffe Preparatory School and what it can offer for students?

Something that we fundamentally believe here is that a happy child is far more likely to achieve their full potential. Above everything else we hope to offer pupils the support they need to develop a feeling of self-belief and self-confidence, to allow them to express themselves eloquently, both when in school and out of school and prepare them for the next stage of their life.

We are very lucky at Wycliffe to be positioned at the edge of the Cotswolds, within a 10-minute drive from the M5 or a five-minute walk from Stonehouse train station, from where trains run direct to London, giving us a rural and beautiful setting whilst also being easily accessible for anyone needing to travel to or from school. Wycliffe Preparatory School takes children aged two to 13 years inclusive.

Why do you think it’s important for children to receive a quality education in early life?

Parents often ask how important it is to invest in education from an early age – some parents feel that perhaps it is only once their child moves up to senior school that an independent education may be of significant value.

My response is usually this – between the ages of two and 11 years old, all of the foundations for later life are laid. Just as a building with strong foundations will last longer, a child with a fantastic education from the outset will develop the right skills and a passion for education which will encourage them to be a lifelong learner.

It is clear to me that a Wycliffe education creates mature, well-rounded individuals, with an enthusiasm for life. When I see our Year 8 pupils giving prospective parents tours of the school on an open day, I am filled with an enormous sense of pride in the truly outstanding citizens that we have nurtured and shaped throughout their formative years.

Wycliffe College

What do you think are the main advantages of independent schooling?

One of the main advantages of the schooling provided at Wycliffe has to be the holistic education that your child will receive, with a wide breadth of activities such as chess club, fencing, and judo to keep pupils inspired and motivated.

Included within the school day the pupils have the opportunity to swim in our pool, have drama lessons in our theatre, and enjoy music lessons all as part of their weekly timetable. Many of our pupils arrive at school at 8am in the morning, before school officially starts at 8.15am, and their day can last until 6pm, therefore offering wrap around care for working parents or those with busy lifestyles at no extra cost.

A huge advantage of this is that busy working parents have peace of mind knowing that their children will be actively engaged until 6pm, and when picking them up at that time, their school day, including homework, will have been finished, allowing them to enjoy some quality time as a family at the end of each day.

Another definite advantage of independent schooling is the individual attention your child will receive. At Wycliffe we keep class sizes small so that each child can have more one to one time with their teacher. Those in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have three full time members of staff in the classroom with them at all times, as well as having access to specialist teachers for French, Music, PE, Art and Swimming on a weekly basis.

Wycliffe College

Can you tell us about Wycliffe Prep’s pastoral care for students?

Pastoral care at Wycliffe is absolutely critical in ensuring that the children are happy. Each child has their own tutor as well as a Head of House, whose role it is to monitor the overall educational and social development of each child under their care, working closely with parents.

On top of this there is also a director of pastoral care who keeps an overview of all things concerning the children. The headmaster and deputy head attend a weekly meeting focusing on each individual pupil’s pastoral needs. As Headmaster, I want to ensure that our parents are actively involved with their child’s education and for this reason all parents are provided with my home telephone number which they are actively encouraged to use.

My wife plays a significant role in the day to day running of the school and therefore we form a strong team and aim to keep parents as updated and engaged with the school as possible.

We are very lucky to have such incredibly supportive parents who not only attend a variety of school events but are more than willing to come and talk to us about their children and how we can make the most of their education moving forward.

What advice would you give to parents seeking the perfect Prep School for their child?

When looking for perfect prep school, it is absolutely critical that you visit the school; go to the school, meet the head. At Wycliffe you will have the opportunity to meet two of our pupils who will give you a tour of the school, which can be tailored to suit the specific needs and interests of your child.

It’s also very important as part of the selection process that your child has an opportunity to experience the school for themselves; in my time as Head at Wycliffe we have offered well over 1,000 taster days where a child arrives at school at 8.15am often very nervous and quiet, and by the end of the day they generally leave the school tired out but full of enthusiasm for all that they have enjoyed during their time with us.

Anyone interested in coming for a drop in session should email briony.armstrong@wycliffe.co.uk, who is our Preparatory School Admissions Manager.

Wycliffe College

And finally, how do parents find out more about Wycliffe Prep School?

To find out more about our school, parents can visit our website via wycliffe.co.uk, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching ‘Wycliffe College’.

However, in my opinion, nothing beats physically coming to visit the school to get a feel for the atmosphere and what we stand for. To anyone reading this who may be considering their options, I urge you to get in touch with us and come see for yourself how much an education here at Wycliffe will benefit your child.

After all, is there anything more important to invest your money in than your child’s education and future? I hope to welcome you to Wycliffe Preparatory School in the future.

For more information visit wycliffe.co.uk directly.

© SoGlos
Wednesday 06 June 2018

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