As Principal of Stoke College, this is a question that I am often asked by prospective parents, and it is a pleasure to answer as I love our school so much.
As a small day and boarding school of 160 students, with a strong international outlook and a growth plan that will still ensure we remain small, we know every child by name. We are very proud of the strong triumvirate relationship between school, student and parent. Parents certainly appreciate our affordability, too!
Classes are small, ensuring attention to each child, where the quality of teaching is of the highest calibre, with excellent learning outcomes, across a broad range of subjects.
Just as important as academic results are the students’ extra-curricular activities, delivered via the Diploma in Character and Resilience, and the Sixth Form Diploma in Global Competencies. Sport, music, drama, science & technology, personal finance & healthy lifestyle, and communication skills in a range of areas, all feature strongly.
‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ is a powerful concept: our uniquely beautiful grounds – sports fields, woodland, river walks, exceptional wildlife including our resident otters, walled and secret gardens brimming with an abundance of rare trees and flowers – in a very safe and secure environment, are complemented by outstanding food (never underestimate the importance of this!) and a terrific sports programme.
I believe that any self-respecting parent ultimately wants one thing for their child (and I say this as the father of three adult children myself), and that is happiness. A happy child will be a productive child, secure in their learning, valued for who they are, celebrated for their achievements, and wishing to have a positive impact on the lives of others.
All of this is made possible at Stoke College. Our older students proudly interact with younger students – they all belong to one of two ‘Houses’, Lions and Unicorns, who regularly do battle with each other in sports, music, drama and cerebral competitions, that can range from the annual House Tug O’ War, to Science Olympics! As our students mature, guidance and support are given with extraordinary attention to detail regarding GCSE and A level options, opportunities for work experience, University and apprenticeship applications.