Prospective parents often ask me and other people what makes Chafyn Grove unique. I talk about the warmth of the relationships between adults and pupils which encourages happy and positive children, about the facilities and our success in various fields, and also about the individual attention and nurturing pastoral care that we give to each child, as well as success in scholarships and entrance to senior schools.
But do those things make Chafyn Grove remotely unique? So far I sound like any other head teacher or prospectus introduction of a myriad of private schools extolling the virtues of their own institution. In fact I am not convinced that what we are trying to do in Salisbury is particularly different or unique – what makes us stand out is that we aim to do everything as well as we can and we achieve very high standards in all areas. I don’t apologise for this bold claim!
Ambitious yet humble, challenging but not pushy, successful but not arrogant; I want pupils at Chafyn Grove to “reach for the stars” in every area of their lives, even if they only become really successful in one particular field. We celebrate the winner of an essay writing competition alongside a victorious cross country team, we applaud scholarship success as well as a superb production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and we enjoy our concerts and art exhibitions, while congratulating our Under 13 boys on winning the National Hockey finals. Our pupils have energy and ambition, revelling in the variety of each day and cheerfully joining in with a multitude of activities. I frequently say that a child at Chafyn Grove is far more likely to be tired than bored!
The development and nurturing of the individual child is at the centre of our thinking. Our pastoral structure and the caring nature of each individual teacher for those in their charge are fundamental to the way we go about our work. A happy child is far more likely to want to make the most of their abilities and enjoy success. The teachers are there to get to know each child and to help them develop fully in every aspect of school life – one size most definitely does not fit all.
Is Chafyn Grove unique amongst schools? Probably not. Is it ambitious to achieve high standards in all areas of school life – definitely!