We get asked lots of questions about what it’s like to study in independent schools following the Quaker educational philosophy. We’ve pulled together the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below, simply click the + to find the answer. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like a little more help.
Do you need to be a Quaker to attend?
No, our schools are open to all students and are free from religious dogma. The Quaker ethos is one that can be shared by all as it is based on respecting all people and helping to make positive changes in the world.
What is a Quaker school?
All our schools are informed by Quaker philosophy. This means that all the teaching practises and environments follow the standards outlined by Quaker philosophy. All people are valued and treated with respect, which leads to a positive, nurturing learning community where mutually respectful relationships exist between teacher and student.
Do Quaker schools follow the National Curriculum?
Yes, our schools make sure students have the knowledge they need to be able to pass formal testing following the National Curriculum. However, our schools teach much more than simply to pass tests and work towards giving students a lifelong love of education and working toward deep-learning.
Will students get their GCSEs and A-Levels?
We encourage all our students to achieve their very best when it comes to formal testing and they’ll leave our schools with excellent GCSE and A-Level results. Our schools don’t obsess over their position in educational league tables and positions, and we create anxiety-free learning environments. As our students don’t fear failure, they often achieve much better results for it.
What age groups do you teach?
Our schools teach children from the age of 2 all the way through to 19.
Each school manages its own student intake and teaches a range of different ages, so be sure to visit their individual pages to find out more.
Do students have to board with the school?
Students do not have to board with the school, though for many it’s an excellent option and helps them to focus on their studies, get involved with extra-curricular activities and develop their independence.
Our schools offer a range of different schooling and boarding options. Day students simply attend school during their official schooling hours, and there’s a range of different boarding options, including full-board (7 nights a week), weekly boarding (4 nights a week), flexi boarding (1-3 nights a week), and overnight stays can be arranged where convenient.
What is the food like for students?
Our schools all have their own catering facilities to provide healthy, nutritious meals to students. These provide for a wide range of dietary requirements and often include meals from a diverse range of cultures.
Do the schools communicate regularly with parents and guardians?
Our schools regularly communicate with parents and guardians to make sure they’re fully aware of their child’s progress and are invited to lots of the extra-curricular activities that students engage with, including student performances and sporting events.
Parents and guardians are also invited to speak with staff if they have any concerns. We know how important an excellent relationship between school and home can be to the individual success of each student.
What are the entry criteria for Quaker schools?
Entry criteria vary from school to school, so make sure you understand what your chosen school requires of each student.
Typically, students will be invited to attend a taster session in the school to meet their potential classmates and teachers. Often there will be an entry exam required to give the school an understanding of their abilities and to help teachers offer targeted support.
Are classes mixed genders and abilities?
Most of our schools are co-educational, but there are some which offer education to boys or girls independently. Each school approaches education differently, with some dividing students by set and ability and others not.
Please refer to individual school pages for more information.
What subjects are taught in a Quaker school?
Students are taught all the mandatory classes from the National Curriculum, including English, science and maths. They also offer a range of subjects, extra-curricular sessions and workshops to encourage students to be interested in learning and to help them develop their own interests and passions.
Why do you have silent meetings?
Quakerism values the power of silence. In the noisy, modern world, it’s easy to get caught up and not take time to reflect. All our schools meet regularly to share in a moment of peaceful silence. The reflection time allows students and teachers to prepare for the day ahead and offers space of creative thinking and leads to deep learning for our students.
Is there provision for special educational needs?
Yes, our schools are able to support students who have additional learning requirements and Breckenbrough School specialises in the education of boys with complex needs.
All schools can support students with mild educational needs and many carry the “dyslexia friendly” seal of approval.
Is there a school uniform/dress code?
Yes, students will have to adhere to the school dress code. This will be made clear to you during the enrolment and acceptance process.
How do you set school fees?
Each school sets its own fees that are reviewed annually to ensure they are always a fair reflection on the current economic climate. These prices are set to ensure that the school’s costs are always covered and so students can get the very best education enhanced by extra-curricular activities and excursions.
Are there additional fees after tuition?
Additional fees are dependent on the school. Often, though, there will be an additional charge for music lessons, trips and residential stays, school uniform, and some meals and activities if the student is not a full-time boarder.
Please refer to the individual school website for more detail on fees.
Are scholarships and bursaries available for all?
Yes, all students can apply for scholarships and bursaries. The schools run excellent scholarship programmes for their students that offer fee remissions for tuition costs for a wide range of skills and talents. Bursaries can be granted on a case-by-case basis and are subject to a yearly review.
Find out more about scholarships and bursaries on the individual schools pages.
Do you have sports programmes?
Sports education is highly prioritised in our schools and we teach our students to have a very healthy lifestyle. We know that not everyone loves sport or has a natural affinity for it, so we encourage students to try lots of different activities and promote participation over perfection.
For those students who have a love of sport and want to progress their skill level, our schools have excellent provision and have produced many successful global, national and regional athletes.
Do you support the art and performance subjects?
Arts, performance and music are incredibly important to the curriculum in our schools. We have excellent resources and spaces for artistic creation, musical practice and theatrical performance. There is also fantastic provision for students to explore a range of different artistic and performance mediums.
What extra-curricular activities are there?
Students are encouraged to try an incredibly varied range of extra-curricular activities and the schools are continually updating and refreshing what they can offer based on feedback from their students.
Activities cover a broad range of subjects to help expand students’ experiences. Schools offer on-site workshops and sessions in things like cooking, robotics, languages, mechanics, candle making, first aid, journalism, TV production, bell ringing, photography, and debating, just to name a few.
Schools often make use of guest speakers and invite industry experts in to run workshops and offer real-world advice to students who want to expand their knowledge of a particular industry. Teachers also run additional sessions for students after school to share their own personal interests and talents.
The schools frequently support their students in extended study projects, regional and national awards and volunteering. The Duke of Edinburgh Award is very popular with students and they often get involved with organising and managing fundraising events for local charities.
What’s a Forest School?
Forest Schools are schools run by professionals alongside the regular school curriculum to help students develop outdoor skills. These classes teach students to have a love and respect for nature and to help them be risk aware, not risk averse when interacting with the natural world.
Younger students especially find these classes enthralling, and love getting out into nature and learning about their environment. Older students also enjoy leaving the classroom walls behind them and getting stuck into environmental study and conservation.
Do you teach international students?
Yes, our schools love having a rich, international community. Students join our schools from all over the world and benefit from a Quaker informed education.
Why are Quakers sometimes called Friends?
You’ll likely see or hear people referring to the Quakers as Friends. That’s because our formal title is The Religious Society of Friends, often more informally called the Society of Friends, or simply, Friends.
Since our beginnings in the 1600s, we’ve had many names. The term Quaker was first applied to us in a derogatory way, but we’ve since adopted the name as our own.