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How School Traditions are Important for Maintaining our Exceptionally High Standard of Teaching and Student Wellbeing

Year 7 went on a team building trip to Osmington Bay PGL centre for a weekend of activities and friendships.

How School Traditions are Important for Maintaining our Exceptionally High Standard of Teaching and Student Wellbeing

Year 7 went on a team building trip to Osmington Bay PGL centre for a weekend of activities and friendships.

The old adage of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” can be applied to every walk of life, but perhaps never more relevantly than when applied to education.  Without a doubt, schools are fertile ground for innovation and ingenuity, but there is also much to be said for tradition and continuity.

With almost half a millennium of experience, a lot has changed in the education system since we first opened our doors.  But, importantly, many things have stayed the same.  This long history has taught us that not all change is progress and has gifted us a feel for when new ideas are worth exploring – and when the old ones are worth sticking with.

Tradition is heavily linked with identity.  Our children deal with so much change in their growing years that – similar to the home – a good school should provide a stable foundation from which these developments can grow and feel supported.

When a child steps into the QEH campus, they are walking into a place that is rich with tradition, rare in its depth of experience and proud of its identity.  Here are just a few of the ways in which our standards of academic excellence and student satisfaction and well-being are thanks in no small part to our observance of – and adherence to – tradition.

The Motto:  Whilst we have Time, Let us do Good

At QEH, our motto is more than just a platitude; it’s a foundational principle, the legacy of which informs our approach.  We believe that in order to achieve their potential, children need to be in an environment which enables them to perform to the best of their ability.

The types of personal pronouns in the motto are no coincidence.  The words ‘us’ and ‘we’ are used in recognition of the fact that a student’s success is just as dependent on those providing the education as it is on those who receive it.

School Uniform

A sense of belonging is something we all crave.  According to the Schoolwear Association, uniforms play an important part in “promoting pride, self-confidence and a feeling of belonging within the student body”.  Having compulsory attire also removes the pressures of meeting the expectations of a child’s peer group with regards to the clothes they choose to wear.

A second big tributary to the argument for having a uniform in schools is security.  For fairly obvious reasons, it is far easier to differentiate between students and non-students if everyone who belongs is wearing the same thing.

Thirdly, there are performance-related reasons for wearing a uniform.  Research conducted by the Schoolwear Association found that many students wore their uniforms after school while doing their homework because it helped them to stay focused.  Additionally, they reported that teachers saw a drop in standards of behaviour on the school’s non-uniform days.

In the Classroom

The aim of any school is to provide an equal level of care and education to each student.  While it is true that the teachers and staff are the providers of this environment of learning, there are standards of behaviour that are expected of students in order for this environment to be achieved and maintained.

First and foremost is the need for punctuality and preparedness.  During the course of each lesson, students are expected to work to the best of their ability and act in a way that allows others to do the same.  They must give the teacher and the work their full attention and raise a hand and wait to be addressed if they have a question.

Around the Campus

Take pride in your school.  Do not litter and take care of all property: your own; other people’s and the school’s.  Walk around sensibly and treat others with respect and kindness.  It is up to every individual to ensure that the campus is a welcoming and enjoyable and positive place to be, for everyone.

This is similar to the previous point in that the expectation for behaviour is based on manners, decency and respect.  These are core values here at QEH – another iteration of the meaning of our motto – and are prerequisites for anyone in attendance at the school.

Further Afield

When wearing the QEH uniform – even while travelling to and from the campus – we expect all students to be a representation of the school.  Take pride in the fact that you are part of a long heritage of people who have worn it and always act in a way that will consolidate this pride in the years to come.

Rewards and Sanctions

Positive reinforcement is a guiding philosophy at QEH.  We firmly believe that rewarding good behaviour is far more effective than punishing bad behaviour – but that doesn’t mean to say that there isn’t a robust sanction system in place too.

There is a detailed breakdown of our merit and sanction policy available on our website or on request.  Our standards are for everyone and our policies are clear, in the belief that clarity and consistency are vital in the promotion of a positive and harmonious environment.

qehbristol.co.uk/about/policies

Pastoral Care

The well-being, safety and happiness of our students is paramount – and we know that children require support and care beyond the classroom.  Our system of pastoral care is well-developed and inclusive.

QEH has often been described as a tight-knit and caring community.  The size of the school means that our faculty knows the student population as individuals and not just statistics, which in turn equips them with vital insight as to when a particular individual might be showing signs that they are struggling.

Traditions, To the Core

Being part of something and feeling as though we belong is a comfort we all need.  Traditions help tie us to an identity and often inform behaviour without our even knowing it.  Every child who comes to QEH contributes to this tradition and is ultimately its custodian – an honour our students wear with pride.

Many things have grown to be unrecognisable from our humble beginnings in the 16th century.  Almost 500 years in the service of education has taught us that although the landscape may change, the core values of hard work, decency and doing good will be going nowhere.

Ollie is a QEH 'lifer', as he joined QEH Juniors in Year 3, eleven years ago.  It's been great to watch his development through the years, both on and off the pitch.

The Junior School’s Enriching Excursions!

Ollie is a QEH 'lifer', as he joined QEH Juniors in Year 3, eleven years ago.  It's been great to watch his development through the years, both on and off the pitch.

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