Years 7 & 8 (The Lower School)
From the outside QEH may appear daunting, especially for new boys to the school. On the inside, however, it is a totally different story.
Introduction to Life at QEH
New boys and parents are invited to meet staff, tour the building and speak to their son's future tutors in the Summer term before they join. The boys are also invited to spend a day at school to experience some lessons and to enjoy a visit to the Sports Ground. Above all, the boys will be able to get to know their new school friends, thus taking some of the worry out of that first official day in September.
On the first day of term, all Year 7 boys will be introduced to a member of the Sixth Form who has volunteered and trained as a Peer Listener to help guide the new boys through the first year at QEH. Peer Supporters meet their Year 7 charges regularly, in very small groups or in private, and offer active listening rather than advice. This means that new students can share their worries and explore their own solutions with a senior student who knows the system and has experienced much of what they are going through.
There is a student counsellor on the staff as well as a Peer Support room, discretely set aside within the school, where boys can come at any time to talk and find a 'listening ear'. As one Year 7 boy put it: "It is good for boys to be able to tell their problems to a Peer Supporter. Someone who is not a teacher".
Boys meet with their tutors in their form rooms twice a day. They have access to their rooms during break times and lunchtimes as a place for quiet socialising or work. Their form rooms are all located together in a single corridor to provide an area of the school for junior students. The Head of Year's office and the notice board for Years 7 and 8 are also located in the same corridor. Students enjoy two periods a week with their form tutor and have their own Lower School assembly where issues are raised that are particular to their interests.
To help all new boys settle in, and to allow staff and students to learn more about each other, the whole of Year 7 is invited to a two-day team building camp in the first half-term. Students participate in activities such as rifle-shooting, archery, climbing, high ropes, trapeze and quadbiking.
Mr Andrew Swithinbank (Head of Year 7)
Mrs Naomi Holcombe (Head of Year 8)