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What matters when you’re choosing a school?

Let us tell you a little about what matters to us. Curiosity, simplicity, equality, empathy, personal responsibility, speaking up and being heard. These are all part of the Quaker philosophy that underpins life at Sidcot School. 

At Sidcot we are justifiably proud of our students’ academic record. We are equally proud of their social skills, their emotional intelligence, their resilience and their determination to make a difference in the world.

It’s no surprise that these personal qualities go together with academic excellence. It’s our experience that curiosity and the confidence to enquire fearlessly - to live adventurously, as our Quaker philosophy puts it - leads children to be better motivated and more at ease with themselves as thinkers and learners.  We don’t cram children at Sidcot, because we don’t have to. This is a kind, purposeful place where we educate the whole person for a life of active, responsible citizenship.

Our excellent exam results and our leavers’ destinations tell the story.  As does the fact that we now offer the International Baccalaureate, an internationally respected qualification that combines rigorous intellectual standards with an emphasis on personal development.  The IB fits perfectly with our values, providing further evidence that a broad and balanced education does not have to be at the expense of academic excellence.

Take a look around our site. I hope you enjoy finding out more about how we live and learn at Sidcot.

Iain Kilpatrick BA, MEd, FRSA
Headmaster

'A rare breed of school which values individual worth above
corporate success.'

In keeping with the ethos of its Quaker founders, Sidcot School has always been outward looking and pioneering. 

It is part of our educational approach that we enrich learning by increasing awareness and sensitivity to local and international matters. Social and ethical issues around social responsibility and peace and sustainability are live topics within the school. Students examine and discuss them, and reflect on their own intellectual and emotional responses.  In doing so they come to understand how their actions can make a difference, and to appreciate the value of making a purposeful contribution to the world.

Our students choose a wide range of occupations and most go on to study at University. Along with their academic success, we also expect them to leave us as confident individuals with open minds and hearts.  In the words of the Quakers values we want them to have learnt to ‘Let your life speak’.

Sidcot students live and learn in an environment that is beautiful, well cared for and rich in experiences.

We encourage them to see school as a place to explore and experiment, to follow their instincts and develop their interests.  Every day brings opportunities, and the resources to make the most of those opportunities.  In arts, sport, sciences, music, students have access to top quality facilities and excellent teaching.

They learn in small classes in an atmosphere of optimism and enquiry.  Often they’ll work with students from other year groups, learning from each other and developing a sense of community and shared responsibility.  We are proud that our graduates are often described as people who can ‘talk to anyone’.  Lifelong friendships are made at Sidcot - and a lasting love of life. 
 

In their daily lives at Sidcot, students experience the value of reflection and self-awareness. 

They are encouraged to take responsibility for their wellbeing and to recognise and value emotional intelligence. As a result, they develop a confidence that is rooted in a deep understanding of who they are and what they value.

Through regular community practices built into the routine of the school day they experience the benefits of mindfulness and self-care. As students at a Quaker School, they also come to understand the role of spiritual enquiry, whatever form it might take. Sidcot School is proud of the part it plays in nurturing students to become authentic and insightful young people who are skilled in self-awareness and who value their emotional life.

“The students’ excellent social development is demonstrated in their high standards of behaviour. They show high levels of spiritual development in response to the school’s Quaker ethos, particularly self-esteem and a natural confidence. Students demonstrate a strong moral awareness, with a particularly acute sense of fairness and justice.”
Independent Schools Inspectorate (Feb 2011)

Equality is one of the key Quakers values and it is central to life at Sidcot.

During their time at Sidcot students learn to speak up for their own opinions and values, and to listen with interest to the views of others. In lessons and in school activities everyone is encouraged to contribute to discussion and debate: not taking over, not opting out. 

In this way students develop an enthusiasm for collaboration and co-creating. Their fellow students are often people whose stories are very different from their own:  people from different backgrounds, different countries, races and religions, and people with different abilities.  In this rich social environment, students come to take pride in their individuality and to enjoy the individuality of others.

Through example and practical experience they learn about working together. They develop the skills needed to negotiate and to build teams.  They learn what it means to have boundaries and structure in relationships and, in engaging with others whose reactions and feelings may be different from their own, they develop empathy and emotional intelligence.

"Mutual respect is a hallmark of relationships across all ages in the community.”
Independent Schools Inspectorate (Feb 2011)

Quaker philosophy advises us to ‘Live Adventurously’.

At Sidcot School this means giving students the confidence to stretch themselves, safe in the knowledge that they will be encouraged every step of the way by knowledgeable and caring staff. 

In an atmosphere of support and optimism with high quality teaching and plenty of attention, students develop an enthusiasm for challenge. Encouraged to see life as an adventure, they adopt an attitude of cheerful resilience that enables them to experience both success and failure as opportunities to learn, grow and develop. 

In this positive environment, students are excited to find out what happens when they try new things and expand their view of themselves.   As well as taking pride in their academic success, Sidcot students place great value on their practical and interpersonal skills.  As a result, they grow into young people who are happy to move beyond their comfort zone and aren’t afraid of the unfamiliar. People who are equipped to take what life offers them - ready and eager to ‘walk cheerfully in the world’.

From an early age Sidcot students experience a community where it is clear that independent thought is encouraged and curiosity is a way of life.

We aim to educate the whole person, to equip them with practical and personal skills alongside their qualifications. We know we’ve succeeded when our students go out into the world with an insatiable interest in all that life has to offer. 

Our teaching staff are themselves motivated by curiosity and a lifelong love of learning. They want to pass that enthusiasm on. They use imaginative teaching methods that encourage students to see learning as an exciting creative journey which everyone can take part in. A journey that doesn’t end when they leave school or university.    

We want our students to have interesting lives. We want them to have the confidence and motivation to develop their talents and the desire to put those talents to good use in the world.

There is inspiration to be found all around us, in the natural world, in the sciences and the arts, in our work and in our friendships, in our sorrows as well as our joys.
Quaker Advices & Queries

  • what matters
  • what matters
  • making a difference
  • living life to the full
  • being yourself
  • valuing others
  • surprising yourself

What matters when you’re choosing a school?

Let us tell you a little about what matters to us. Curiosity, simplicity, equality, empathy, personal responsibility, speaking up and being heard. These are all part of the Quaker philosophy that underpins life at Sidcot School. 

At Sidcot we are justifiably proud of our students’ academic record. We are equally proud of their social skills, their emotional intelligence, their resilience and their determination to make a difference in the world.

It’s no surprise that these personal qualities go together with academic excellence. It’s our experience that curiosity and the confidence to enquire fearlessly - to live adventurously, as our Quaker philosophy puts it - leads children to be better motivated and more at ease with themselves as thinkers and learners.  We don’t cram children at Sidcot, because we don’t have to. This is a kind, purposeful place where we educate the whole person for a life of active, responsible citizenship.

Our excellent exam results and our leavers’ destinations tell the story.  As does the fact that we now offer the International Baccalaureate, an internationally respected qualification that combines rigorous intellectual standards with an emphasis on personal development.  The IB fits perfectly with our values, providing further evidence that a broad and balanced education does not have to be at the expense of academic excellence.

Take a look around our site. I hope you enjoy finding out more about how we live and learn at Sidcot.

Iain Kilpatrick BA, MEd, FRSA
Headmaster

'A rare breed of school which values individual worth above
corporate success.'

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset