Quakerism at Sidcot School
Sidcot School was founded in 1699 and is administered on the Quaker principles of truth, integrity, respect, simplicity, equality, and sustainability. These Quaker values, also called testimonies, are fundamental to the education in the School.
Our respect for these testimonies means that we value each member of the community equally, which results in gentle, courteous, and friendly relationships between staff and pupils. We also expect the highest standards of commitment, truthfulness, and consideration for others. Our working ambience is rigorous but conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect in which each person can master how to learn with integrity.
At Sidcot, Quaker practices are an essential part of school life, and so also are incorporated in the whole of the teaching in the School.
The Sidcot Wheel
The Sidcot Wheel is a diagrammatic method by which teachers at the School may ensure that all their lessons contain relevant references to aspects and ideals of Quakerism, so that students will be encouraged to engage actively with their lessons and become excited by the discoveries that learning can provide.
Quaker roles in the school
In the Senior school, four students are appointed to be ‘Quaker Elders’. The Elders run our weekly Meeting for Worship, deliver assemblies, and facilitate workshops for students and staff during the year in Quaker Week, during tutor sessions and in staff training. Alongside the Quaker Overseer, who is a member of staff, they are responsible for nurturing the Quaker ethos of the school.
The present Quaker Overseer is Céline Potts (firstname.lastname@example.org). This year’s Student Quaker Elders are George Wayne, Miel Nadam, Lucy Birnie and Zack Brannan.
In the Junior School, Nicola Havercroft (email@example.com) oversees seven student Quaker elders and is responsible for the Quaker ethos.
If you would like more information about Quakerism at the school, do not hesitate to contact the people above.
Meeting for Worship
Meeting for Worship is a time for quiet reflection where participants may attend to their thoughts in a spirit of sympathy and sincerity: it is part of our school life and timetable, so staff and students gather in silence in which anyone present can ‘minister’: when a participant feels compelled by the Spirit to speak, pray, read, or share their experience. It is usually unplanned. The Meeting starts on Fridays at 10.20am and ends at 10.55am.
Members of the boarding community also attend Sunday Meeting for Worship about twice a term, which is run by Sidcot Local Meeting, and is held in the Small Meeting House at 10.30 am for an hour.
Sunday Evening Meeting
On the first Sunday of the month during term time, our Student Quaker Elders organise a more informal Meeting for Worship. The Meeting starts with music and is followed by silent worship for about 25 minutes and is followed by a cup of tea and some time to talk to each other. Everyone from the school and the local community is welcome to attend.
Every October, Student Quaker Elders and their team run a week of workshops and fun activities centred around our Quaker values. It is a time to celebrate these values, to reinforce what we stand for and to recognise our heritage. Typical activities are usually designed around a theme – this year’s theme was ‘Once Upon a Conflict’ – and included topical tutor sessions, debates, talks, art exhibitions, creative workshops, and crafts.
Fox Trot Weekend – a journey to Lancashire and Cumbria, the historic 1652 country
Each year, a group of staff and senior students join members of other Quaker schools in the UK to explore the significant places and ideas behind the story of George Fox (founder of Quakerism) and the early Quakers. The weekend helps forge links between schools and individuals, which are valuable in keeping alive the Quaker ethos in the eight Quaker schools which participate.
Learn more about a quaker education by visiting
the aquakereducation.co.uk website.