Monday, 27 September 2021

Firing our girls' imagination, engaging the soul and opening up the world

Firing our girls' imagination, engaging the soul and opening up the world

THERE are many reasons why I love Wychwood, writes headmistress Andrea Johnson.

It is a unique day and boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18 which, in the words of our founder Miss Lee, aims to provide an education “for genuine girls not imitation boys”.

For me being the head of a small school matters — here we know each girl, their strengths and their weaknesses, and there is nowhere to hide.

Too many girls still go through education hiding their talents away and only in a small school can this be effectively and sensitively challenged.

We can help when it is needed, praise and recognise the many, many achievements great and small that make up a school life and exhort and remind when necessary.

Wychwood’s small size means we offer individual challenge and pastoral care to a far greater extent than can larger institutions.

As a result, our girls gain excellent academic results and emerge confident and well prepared for their futures.

Our size also affords us great flexibility, be that the flexibility to offer new subjects, to teach different classes in different ways to suit their needs, or to provide boarding for one night only to day girls after the return of an evening trip. A Wychwood education fires the imagination, engages the soul, stimulates the brain and opens up the world for our girls.

They develop their own passions and interests and remain tolerant of and open to those of others.

Another reason why I love the school is seeing girls in different year groups socialising, working and living together. Looking on to Sir John’s lawn I often hear laughter and see girls of a variety of ages on the swing, chatting, laughing or playing swingball.

At the school picnic in June, the impromptu rounders teams coalesced as girls across the year groups and staff came together and the cartwheels celebrating a score came from old and young. This is what normal looks like at Wychwood.

To me, helping girls to develop a clear sense of self and personal happiness is at the root of all Wychwood does.

During her time at Wychwood we help each girl discover what it means to be happy, as this is the foundation upon which lifelong success is built.

Girls finish their school days being able to deal effectively with the adult world into which they emerge, knowing that they will always be part Wychwood, even as they become part of a global community.

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