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Herries Open Evening 


(12 May 2012)

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On Wednesday, 9th May 2012, Herries Preparatory School in Cookham Dean held an Open Evening for prospective parents. As locals will be well aware, the school has a rich cultural heritage and is the former home of Kenneth Grahame, the author of “Wind in the Willows”.

 Head teacher, Sophie Green gave a short speech in which she highlighted some of the school’s special qualities, one of which is its high level of pastoral care. Ms Green referred to the most recent ISI report which said: “The caring, happy and supportive community and the excellent relationship forged between pupils and staff enable pupils to develop as confident citizens.”

Ms Green went on to talk about the benefits of this high level of pastoral care: “Firstly, the happiness of pupils is something to be treasured in itself, and secondly, we believe that a happy pupil is a pupil who learns without distraction.”

With the school’s excellent academic standards, when pupils leave at the end of Year 6, they have higher than average NC levels. Pupils have a class teacher up to and including Year 2, but increasingly from Year 3, they are taught by specialist teachers, and this is good preparation for their chosen senior schools.

 Ms Green also spoke about the small class sizes and the fact that the school felt like a big family: “Every pupil matters and is an important and special part of the school.”

She went on to give a snapshot of the sport, music and drama at Herries.  “We foster a real love of sport in all our pupils and every child, from Reception to Year 6, takes part in a timetabled sporting activity three times a week. Increasingly, pupils also have the opportunity to take part in competitive fixtures against other schools in team sports such as netball and football. They learn to win with pride and lost with grace.”

Herries has just head that all of the students who recently took their LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) exams passed with either a “merit” or a “distinction”. Ms Green attributed this success both to the pupils and to Mrs Castell, the head of Music and Drama at Herries.

 “This is the embodiment of the self-confidence that Herries gives its pupils – Mrs Castell takes them on a very exciting journey during their time here. Along the way they will take part in the Marlow Schools Choir Festival, a summer production of Annie, celebrations of Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter at St John the Baptist church and much, much more.”

Finally Ms Green said: “All of our pupils are able to stay with us from 8am-6pm and many of them do. Their days are full and varied and made up of much more than lessons and lunch. I took time to walk around the school today to ask the children what they especially enjoyed during their time here and there were some very touching answers.”

Some of the comments from pupils at Herries:

Keira–“I like getting lots of house points”.

Holly – “I like the curry”.

Sam- “I like Golden Time”.

Luka- “I like playing outside with John”.

Wyn- “I like Herries because everyone is kind”.

Jonathan- “I like everything!”

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