On Tuesday 7th October, Mr Nick Herbert MP visited
Steyning Grammar School for breakfast to meet boarding students and to see what
life is like as a boarder at the school.
This visit comes just after the State Boarding School Association
issued the largest-ever parent survey of state school boarders, an extremely
positive report with 93% of parents confirming that their children are happy in
state boarding schools. 95% of parents would
also recommend their school and boarding as an option to others.
Mr Nick Wergan, Headteacher, Steyning Grammar School said: “This
research is a major affirmation of the work and potential of a boarding
provision like ours at Steyning Grammar School, and it endorses our own
positive experiences of why parents and students might choose our boarding
option – access to excellent academic and social enrichment, and support in
developing the confident and independent skill set to be successful young
adults; for many families this is the perfect solution for enabling their
children to achieve their full potential. We are as proud of our students as
they are too of their boarding community – we are focussed in supporting all
our students in developing the grit and resilience to succeed, and our boarders
embody that positive mindset.”
Mr Herbert was instrumental in supporting the capital bid for
monies allocated by Lord Adonis – for the boarding provision expansion in 2011,
with the fantastic recent addition of Bolton Boarding House, a multimillion pound state of the art boarding facility now dedicated as
a Sixth Form house.
Mr Herbert had the opportunity to meet
students in an informal setting over breakfast to see the start of a typical
day for Steyning boarding students. Mr
Herbert said: “I can see that the boarders benefit hugely from this experience
professionally and academically, the atmosphere here is one of friendship and
there’s a real sense of community amongst the boarders. This new research report has really brought
to life the positive attributes of state boarding provision.”
Following breakfast Mr Herbert had a
tour of the four boarding Houses, three of which have recently been refurbished,
now offering boarding for 124 boarders.
Steyning Grammar School is one of only 35 state boarding schools
nationwide, and the only one in Sussex.
State Boarding offers great value for money, with
no tuition fees and affordable accommodation.
Places are offered on a weekly or full time basis for students from
Years 9-13. The quality of boarding
provision at the Steyning Grammar school has been judged by Ofsted to be ‘Outstanding
in every category’ (2012 & 2009).
Mr Wergan explained the strong school
ethos: “Steyning Grammar School is a unique, successful and dynamic learning
community, built on traditions of excellence and highest expectations. The school has always had boarders since its
beginning in 1614, and now supports many more students from the local community
as well as further afield. The boarding
community adds enormously to the dynamic learning environment of the school.”
Head Girl of Boarding, Anna Donavan said:
“I always wanted to experience Boarding, and when I arrived I found something
unique about Steyning, I was drawn by the ‘whole family’ environment and wanted
to be part of this community and involved in all the enrichment and community
Many parents and students choose boarding
as an option because this offers an environment where students can excel. The national survey confirms that over 80% of
parents choose State Boarding schools because of the high academic quality and
the chance for their children to fulfil their potential. Miss Danielle Cook, Director of Boarding confirmed: “This is certainly true at
Steyning Grammar School with boarding students achieving 100% pass rate at A
Level, with 84% of the subjects taken by boarders at A Level achieving grades
at A* - C. Students are also provided with
a real ‘home-from-home’ experience and quickly develop independence and build
friendships which last a lifetime.”
Boarding can also offer that stepping
stone for students between home and higher or further independent education,
and an introduction to a more independent way of life whilst being surrounded
by a strong support network of committed house-parents, a fully qualified
matron and boarding tutors.
Deputy Director of Boarding, Mr Tom
Leighton said: “Our students take an active role in shaping their own boarding
experience; student voice is valued, encouraged and lies at the heart of our
philosophy of continual improvement and innovation.”
For further details on the Steyning
Grammar School, the Sixth Form College and the Boarding environment we offer
please visit www.sgs.uk.net. A full prospectus is available online.
If you would like to have a tour of
the school and boarding facilities or to join one of our ‘Boarding Taster Days’
to experience ‘Life as a Boarder’ then please contact our Boarding Registrar,
Mrs Plimmer on 01903 817601.