From the very beginning of their passage through Queen Elizabeth’s School, boys are encouraged to look beyond their personal enjoyment and even their studies: all are expected to give time to causes greater than themselves.
The School seeks to cultivate a lifelong commitment to service, teaching pupils that “they achieve genuine fulfilment and greater benefit by seeking to make a contribution to society rather than pursuing only personal gain”, as one of the key tenets behind our mission statement puts it.
From Year 7 through to Year 11, boys’ commitment to the School and service to the community is recognised and rewarded through our formal awards programme. In the Sixth Form, the number of such awards is increased.
Every pupil in Year 12 is expected to devote 40 hours during the year (or one hour per week) to our Sixth Form Voluntary Service Programme. Boys find their own placements: usually, their choices either relate to their planned career or make a contribution to their community, often through work with charities or in educational settings. The School receives very positive feedback from employers who participate in the programme. For their part, pupils benefit tremendously from the opportunity to work alongside people from different walks of life, thereby enhancing their social skills and, in many cases, gaining skills and knowledge that will prove useful to them in their future career.
Every year, large numbers of our Year 11 boys sign up for The Challenge – a registered charity, which is part of the National Citizen Service and promotes community engagement. It entails a three-week programme during the summer holidays and three autumn weekends. Comparatively inexpensive, it offers boys the opportunity to take part in a broad range of tasks and projects, many of them designed to benefit local communities. These bring our boys together with other young people from a variety of backgrounds and gives them new skills as well as enabling them to build on existing strengths.
While QE pupils come from quite a wide area, we remain committed to our role within Barnet. For visiting groups of older children from primary schools within the borough, we organise a number of special events. With the accent firmly on fun, these have included a whodunnit sleuthing exercise hosted by our Lower School Science department as well as a challenge day involving poetry, number puzzles and a spelling bee.