Some of what I had to say when interviewed about our school.
Finborough School claims that it concentrates on each child and nurtures their individual talents- how are you fulfilling this?
Our approach is all about the individual, children and young adults are all known extremely well and highly valued for who they are and their unique collection of abilities and talents. Every child and young adult at our school is supported and developed to be the best version of themselves. From our most able on track for top grade GCSE and A levels and bound for Oxbridge to those who we take the time to get inside what is limiting their success and implement the support and guidance they need to be their very best. The broad range of what we do outside of the academic curriculum means pupils have opportunities to excel whether it is on the rugby pitch, netball court on the stage or at the easel.
It is important that we do not rush their childhood and our commitment to ensuring they emerge ready for the world is tempered with the strong belief that they must enjoy being children and young adults for as long as possible as this is the foundation of a positive and happy outlook across their whole life.
Put very simply every child has a chance to shine at our school, building their confidence and self esteem and establishing an entitlement for success across the rest of their lives.
Do you believe that being a small-sized school aids this, and what other benefits does this provide?
It is fantastic to be head of a small school, in assembly this week; I looked across our 360 pupils as they strained (even the sixth formers) to volunteer and I realised that after just six months in post I know virtually all of their names and so much about them. As a head of a large state school I endeavored to achieve this but never got there. This knowledge and understanding of our pupils is a beautiful thing, it makes our learning family very special indeed.
What do you believe the school’s core aims and values are?
Our core aim is to provide the ‘best preparation for life’; young people emerge from Finborough with excellent qualifications, outstanding lifelong learning skills and habits for success in all aspects of their lives.
Our values for our children, parents and staff are:
Honesty – “Being fair, open and honest when dealing with themselves and individuals in and outside the school.”
Respect – “Respecting others to create an environment where colleagues and pupils can realise their full potential.”
Results – “Doing what you say you will do to achieve personal and team objectives.”
According to your website drama, music and sport are integral to your holistic approach- can you explain what this means and why?
A rich experience including creative and performing arts alongside sports, dovetailed with a bespoke academic curriculum and a world renowned Life Skills programme results in assured and accomplished young people. Finborough pupils exude confidence as they have fun performing on the stage, sports field, in a recital or showcasing their creations at an exhibition. They learn well, achieve well, behave well, play well, eat well and live well. We believe strongly that this his holistic approach leads to a deep resilient happiness and a successful future. Our recent whole school production of the Lion King demonstrated how valuable this breadth of experience is for our pupils, one hundred and thirty pupils from five to eighteen years of age gave us an exceptional five show run, genuinely the best school performance I have ever seen.
What do you believe Finborough School is most recognised for?
The Finborough ‘family’ is a school where individuals are celebrated and valued for who they are. Where children can grow to be the best versions of themselves in a secure yet inspirational environment.
Are there any particular facilities that you pride yourself on?
Finborough is set in a quintessentially English country manor house, which since becoming a school has sprawled sensitively across its setting in the picturesque Suffolk countryside. Our facilities are excellent, including a brand new multi million pound building housing a range of sporting and performance spaces alongside the popular ‘Sky Café’ enjoyed by parents and pupils.
Our use of new learning technologies has surged and fuses perfectly with the traditional tried and tested resources required for great teaching and learning
Can you tell us about the school’s Life Skills programme?
Our extensive life skills programme is based around Covey’s Seven Habits, addressing in an age specific approach a set of behaviours required to make the best life decisions and achieve success. Our pupils learn through Habit 1 to be proactive, being responsible for behaviour, results and growth. Habit 2 gets them to begin with the end in mind, focusing their time and energy on things that can be controlled. Habit 3 gets them to put first things first, focusing on the most important priorities. Habit 4 encourages pupils to think win, win and to work efficiently and effectively with others to achieve optimum results. Seeking first to understand before being understood is habit five, enabling great relationships whilst habit six, synergise, supports innovation and problem solving with those who may have a different point of view. Habit seven, sharpening the saw concludes the collection and recognises the need to refresh yourself and enable renewal and continual improvement ‘better never stops’. In addition to this we explore all the topical and relevant issues in British society and have a deeply imbedded approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, ensuring everyone of our pupils is ready for a life where they are safe and successful and above all else happy.
What do you believe the school offers students- what makes it unique?
Our pupils can be happy with whom they are, ambitious to be their best and collecting everything they need for a wonderful life. Enjoying a rich and rewarding experience that frames the most formative years of their life. Having a growth mindset, which means they will always move forward positively in life whatever challenges come their way achieving success and happiness
What are your future ambitions for the school?
“Better never stops’! We want to continually develop our school year on year so we are always looking forward and keeping everything we do sharp and at its very best. Growing, but remaining relatively small, expanding and renewing our facilities so we are always on a upward trajectory as the best school a child could ever attend.
In one sentence answer- why should parents choose Finborough School for their children?
Finborough provides a rich and rewarding school experience that is the best preparation for a life of success and happiness.