The mission of Queen Elizabeth’s School is to produce young men who are confident, able and responsible.
All who work at the School contribute to this objective by:
• encouraging independence of thought and tailoring the learning experience to individual needs, thereby securing ever higher levels of achievement;
• focusing the boys’ attention on their own development and aspirations, both at the School and beyond;
• emphasising the importance of traditional values, working in partnership with parents to inculcate an attitude of tolerance, possession of good manners and pride in self-presentation;
• promoting boys’ general wellbeing and their enjoyment of learning, rewarding effort and celebrating success;
• giving boys progressive responsibilities and encouraging their participation in worthwhile activities beyond the classroom;
• developing boys’ awareness that they achieve genuine fulfilment and greater benefit by seeking to make a contribution to society rather than pursuing only personal gain;
• providing an inspiring learning environment, harnessing the benefits of technology and ensuring that the maximum time is devoted to core professional activities.
Queen Elizabeth’s School aims to deliver a progressive, innovative approach to education, yet without losing sight of our core values and traditions. This aim is reflected both in our academic programme and in our extra-curricular activities. The School recognises that the acquisition of knowledge must always remain a foundation stone in education, but also places great emphasis on encouraging boys to develop a life-long love of learning and a free-thinking scholarship. That is to give boys an appreciation and understanding of the liberal arts, as well as the practical skills of critical thinking, problem solving and methodical research; building not only their knowledge of a subject but their ability to apply that knowledge in order to come up with new insights and new solutions. Our curriculum is broad and balanced, offering the academic ‘enabling subjects’ highly regarded by universities and employers, whilst ensuring that the arts and technology are featured strongly.
In our founding charter, granted by Queen Elizabeth I in 1573, the School was established for ‘the education, bringing up, and instruction of boys.’ In line with these founding tenets and the School’s mission statement, we promote values including diligence, confidence, responsible behaviour, duty and loyalty. All these virtues may be found in the history and traditions of the School. Our boys come to understand that the School’s reputation has been hard-earned, both by recent Old Elizabethans and by countless generations of forebears. Because it is a meritocracy open to all boys able to fulfil the academic requirements, QE is a multi-cultural school made up of boys drawn from an extraordinarily diverse range of ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. We are a strong community within which a very tolerant atmosphere prevails, because boys respect and value each other and focus on commonality rather than difference.
Academic excellence is the norm at Queen Elizabeth’s School. Our boys achieve the highest grades in public examinations and go on to leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. From the day they join the School, our expectations of boys are high.
The Governors are committed to stimulating academic and extra-curricular performance by providing an inspirational learning environment. In recent years, through the fund-raising of the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s the physical environment has been greatly enhanced by investment in well-designed buildings equipped to the highest standards. The School provides excellent teaching by staff who are highly qualified and dedicated. Our varied and engaging curriculum is supported by enrichment opportunities for all year groups, including frequent special events and trips organised by the subject departments. Academic achievement throughout the School is rewarded and publicly celebrated, as are boys who demonstrate the core traits of character equally important to our mission.
We encourage younger boys to look up to our older students as role models; a process aided by Sixth-Formers’ leadership of the pupil body as Prefects, Vice-Captains, and School Captain. Senior boys also lead the House system, which facilitates vertical interaction between year groups as well as the fostering of a collective House identity. The House system enables boys to see themselves as part of the School’s illustrious history, as do the examples of past generations of Elizabethans who have excelled academically at the School and then gone on to make valuable and significant contributions to society.
Our ambition is that every boy reaches his fullest potential. Our system of ‘bespoke education’ is fundamental in delivering such outcomes. One-to-one help is available in lunchtime or after-school clinics in every subject. There are opportunities in all subjects and extra-curricular activities for able boys to compete at the appropriate regional, national and international levels in, for example, county and national trials and academic Olympiads. The emphasis on bespoke education extends to the tutoring system, through which each pupil’s performance, academic progress and wellbeing is monitored, on an individual basis, in detail once every half-term. Alongside the house tutors, the boys and their parents play an important part in this system in setting targets and then in ensuring that all the necessary actions are taken to meet those targets. Where boys need additional support, there is a well-established system of both peer and staff mentoring to cover both academic and pastoral issues.
There is deliberate emphasis at QE on developing the whole person: our aspirations at the School extend well beyond examination results. We expect all boys to participate in the wider life of the School beyond the classroom and, further to that, we aim to nurture a sense of social responsibility. There is an extremely wide range of enriching extra-curricular activities in sport, the arts and in myriad other fields; all boys are expected to take advantage of these opportunities, choosing them according to their aptitudes and interests. The aims of both our charity fund-raising programme and our Sixth Form voluntary service scheme include providing opportunities for boys to learn about and engage in causes greater than themselves.
It is also important to us that boys are happy at School. Through our regular programme of personal development, there is considerable focus on building the boys’ resilience – ensuring they are well-supported to live healthy and fulfilled lives both whilst still at school and in adulthood.
Developing the whole person naturally requires the involvement and commitment of parents. Indeed, fostering strong partnerships with parents is key to the success of the School. Consistency of approach between home and school provides a stable platform for boys in their education. It is thus essential that parents understand clearly at the outset what their son’s QE career will involve. No element of the curriculum may be opted out of or disapplied because of parental choice or religious persuasion. The only exception to this is the parents’ right in law to withdraw their son from religious or sex education on religious grounds. Parents will need to support their son’s participation in the broad life of the school, including extra-curricular clubs and activities, most of which take place outside of the normal timetable.
For its part, the School keeps parents fully informed through our online eQE platform, regular performance reports and face-to-face briefing and consultation meetings. No boy can expect to make maximum progress at QE unless he takes homework seriously: parents are therefore urged to encourage their son to complete homework on time and to the best of his ability. Routine use of the homework diary in Years 7, 8 and 9, and from then on the personal organiser, provides a weekly link between School and home, with signatures required from both parents and teachers. As boys progress through the School they are supported to take increasing responsibility for their own learning.
When a boy first puts on the uniform of Queen Elizabeth’s, he is inspired and helped by the reputation forged by his predecessors. As he progresses through the School he honours the debt of tradition by re-making our reputation year on year. There is no stereotypical Elizabethan: while many go on after university to pursue successful careers in the professions, others carve innovative paths in areas such as the creative arts and business. Our alumni regularly engage with the School to support current boys in preparing for further study and for careers in the broad range of industries in which they are established. Wherever their talents take them they become Elizabethans for life. Common to all, however, is an education which has made them confident, able and responsible young men, well placed to make their contribution to society.