It’s not just the students who benefit from their time living and learning in a Quaker school. The staff experience is also incredibly important too, and all people who spend time regularly in any one of our schools will feel valued and have a positive working environment.
Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with supportive colleagues who seek to nurture in our pupils that greatest and most powerful of things: an enthusiastic child with an enquiring mind. I have been extremely fortunate to work with some of the most fantastic enquiring young minds over my career at The Mount School, who continue to inspire me each and every day.Staff Member
The Mount School
Valuing the whole school team
Quaker schools all recognise that it’s not just the teaching staff that are vital to the successful education of a child. Every single person working in our schools plays an incredibly important role in the happiness and success of our students.
Support staff, from classroom assistants to caterers, cleaners to onsite doctors, all benefit from the excellent working environment. We all work together to create a caring and supportive school community that everyone can enjoy.
I started working here as maternity cover. I’m still here 16 years later!Staff Member
In the classroom
Teachers have the freedom to teach in a Quaker school. They must ensure they pass on the knowledge that students need to achieve great results on their National Curriculum testing, but they have the space they need to teach the material in creative ways.
In the classroom, teachers and students work together to help the whole class progress and to enjoy the learning process. There is a mutually respectful atmosphere in any Quaker classroom that makes sure that students enjoy the learning process and are free from anxieties over their performance.
While identifying with our ethos, the majority of teachers in a Quaker school do not self-identify as a Quaker themselves. In fact, very few of the students and staff in our schools regularly attend Quaker meetings or consider themselves part of the Friends community.
You’re allowed to be yourself. The children are allowed to be themselves, but we are as well. So we don’t have to put on an act going into that classroom.Teacher
Supporting the students
Students and teachers have a very close relationship in all of our schools. As such, teachers are often the people students confide in about their thoughts, dreams and worries, especially when they’re living and working alongside young people.
There are lots of support structures in place in the schools to provide the support that students need to develop and grow, and specially trained professionals to help teachers deliver the best possible academic and pastoral care to their students.
Teaching staff aren’t expected to all board at the school with the students, though lots of them choose to and join the rota for helping teach and support residential students. Activities and workshops run into the evening and teachers often enjoy sharing additional skills with the students and joining them on trips away from the school.
They don’t treat you like children, they expect you to be up to their standards. Like, here they actually talk to you, other than like schoolwork and they actually just try and help you as a person, not as a pupil.Year 10 Student
Communicating with parents
Teachers in a Quaker school often have a closer relationship with parents and guardians. Their smaller class sizes and closer working relationship with their students gives teachers a greater insight into their students that can be passed along to parents. Equally, if a parent has any cause for concern over their child, they’re invited to come forward and discuss it so the school can work with them on a solution.
Parents are regularly invited to attend concerts, watch sporting matches, meet with teachers, come along to coffee mornings, and attend information evenings. Parents form part of the school community as we understand the importance of their input on the success and happiness of their child.
The importance of a great relationship between parent and school cannot be overstated, especially for boarding students. While boarding aims to provide a home-from-home for the students and to help them develop their independence, the school can never fully replicate the family home. Regular communication and visits are really important for students and their families.
All parts of the school show a genuine desire to involve parents in their work and in their children’s education. The school ensures that parents are kept well informed about school activities, via emails, text messages, journals, homework planners, weekly newsletters, parents’ noticeboards and the school website.Independent Schools Inspectorate report on Bootham School, 2014
Find out more
If you want to find out more about experiences in a Quaker school, we recommend that you visit one. You’ll get to see for yourself the excellent working relationship and school culture that exists within any of our schools. You’ll also be able to talk to teachers directly and get a better impression of what makes living, working and learning in a Quaker school so special.