Why choose a fee paying school?

17th April 2019

In a recent article in the Independent Schools Magazine, Head of Ipswich High School, Suffolk, Oona Carlin articulates reasons why people choose independent schools.

So why choose to send your child to a fee-paying school? One reason and this is a truism of some of our admissions, is that local state schools might not meet all individual needs; the typically large pupil numbers may seem overwhelming. “More often, parents choose an independent education because of the added activities and support beyond the curriculum… It is often about the rounded education an independent school can offer and the broader curriculum which is not as restricted as in many state schools” At Heathfield Knoll, we have a range of opportunities for pupils to extend their minds outside of the classroom. Our after-school programme is extremely varied and includes musical theatre, sports, photography, gardening and so much more.

Ms Carlin also discusses how independent schools “have invested more money in learning support”. At HKS we have just opened our new and improved Learning Support Base and subsequent investment will continue this next term. The support is available not only for pupils who have been diagnosed with specific learning needs but also is open to pupils who benefit from stretch and challenge or specific interventions at GCSE.

At HKS we offer a bespoke education for your child where teaching and learning fit around the individual. We achieve this, in part, through keeping class sizes small, investing in relationships and paying attention to the small details. Independent education is not cheap and we have a responsibility that by carefully investing in each child, we achieve the best in everyone.

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Government Testing

19th March 2019

As we near the start of the annual cycle of government testing, it can be a stressful time for many parents. But it doesn't have to be this way. At HKS we use our discretion and professional judgement to assess our children accurately and reliably, across a range of subjects and in various ways. We strongly believe that time in school should be spent focused on teaching and learning and not on practising government test papers. Our children achieve wonderful things, becoming well rounded, happy, individuals through their time in a strong, independent school that focuses on individuals and significantly, offers choice and a bespoke approach to education. 

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Education Minister speaks out about a complete phone ban in all schools

08th February 2019

Education Minister Nick Gibb spoke out about a complete ban on mobile phones within schools. The British Government is currently in the process of publishing new guidance for schools that will address internet safety, social media and online gaming. At HKS, we already implement a strict no phones policy within the school, an idea previously endorsed by Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman. Pupils are allowed to carry a mobile phone to and from school, but once they are on site, phones must be handed in and locked away until the end of the school day.

Although mobile phones, if used correctly, can be used as a useful and effective learning tool (they are a 'powerful computer in your pocket'), there are oft-quoted risks in their use. We believe that personal mobile phones within a school can take away the valuable time pupils could spend developing their interpersonal skills, talking with their peers and being physically active during break times. Furthermore, the potential distractions to learning and the wider issues of cyberbullying and inappropriate use of social media, endemic in some schools, are real concerns. In short, we want our pupils to enjoy being children for as long as possible, to be themselves and to realise every opportunity in school.

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