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Be inspired every day with Living North
school children
September 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes

Empowering students in school enables them to do outstanding things in the world

In the historic part of Wakefield city centre, a five-minute walk from the train station, is the Wakefield Grammar School family - three schools who are setting girls and boys on their pathways to success, developing incredibly capable and multi-talented leaders with more than academic results to celebrate. We meet Wakefield Grammar Pre-Preparatory School and top 10 northern independent schools Wakefield Girls' High School and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School as they open their doors for a new academic year and an Open Morning for all prospective interested students, age 3-18 years, and their families on 7th October.

Big futures start early.
We know that the early years are a magical time when children learn at the most significant rate,’ says Head of Wakefield Grammar Pre-Preparatory School, Emma Gill. ‘Remarkable beginnings can make a world of difference for curious little people. Our girls and boys have one opportunity for an excellent education. We aim for this to be the best possible education. We enhance our curriculum with languages, music, arts, drama, sports, philosophy and enrich that with a wide range of extracurricular activities and leadership opportunities. The children in our care develop a strong sense of self and independence and cultivate skills of collaboration and problem solving while establishing friendships which will last a lifetime. Along the way, we are committed to ensuring that our children learn to be kind, respectful and resilient. These values are crucial to their relationships and learning and they can move seamlessly (and non examined) to Wakefield Girls’ and QEGS.’

A complete education.
Wakefield Girls’ and QEGS are experts at helping every child to reach their potential by combining academic excellence with personal and professional developmentstretching academic high-flyers to even greater heights and supporting girls and boys to achieve things they never thought possible. Excellent academics and small, personal classes are core, complemented by signature school programmes. Included are their dynamic EDGE and QED programmes which offer students over 250 different activities each week so everyone can discover and pursue their passions and interests, and their innovative Pathways To Success programme which helps all students become intellectually and socially confident, work-place and life-ready with a global outlook.

How can pupils best prepare for the start of the new school year?
Relax and take some time to reframe and consider what they want to achieve in the year ahead. Consider how they will manage their time – they are all busy and will need to balance/ juggle outside interests with school life and work. They should also ask questions and keep the dialogue open and ongoing.

What will pupils have to face this term? 
Lots of things to look forward to! We have whole school House events planned alongside lots of clubs and an extensive programme of varied extra-curricular activities to try out. In addition to this our Juniors will continue with Forest School and they have a new and exciting curriculum to experience. We never stand still and our students are BRILLIANT at suggesting wonderful activities and initiatives for us to try; they are always a success and as we always support a charitable cause, the whole school community embraces such ideas. They do also face some hard work. We celebrate working hard and we like to learn and know things. Therefore striking a balance is key.

How will you be supporting pupils throughout?
In each school is a wonderful pastoral team to support our pupils but it doesn’t stop there because EVERY member of our school community looks out for each other. One of our key values celebrates this care and the nurturing community we find ourselves in. There is, of course, also academic support and our teaching staff are always ready to offer a helping hand and our super Sixth Form subject leaders also step in and step up. They love offering support to younger pupils in our school and we really value their contributions.

Read More: How the Yorkshire Dales is Leading The Way to Save Endangered Curlews

What should parents consider when deciding which school is best for their child?
The culture, the values and the environment. Our three schools all share common values and want each pupil to be their very best self and to embrace all opportunities and above all, enjoy school life so it is a treasured time they will look back with fondness. To do this the students must buy into the values. The parents, too.

Academic results are important, of course, but it is a given that they are excellent in our schools and we value smiles as much as success. Therefore, I would also look at pastoral support, the extra curricular programme and the structured pathways to success offered in school to make sure your child will be cared for, challenged and empowered. Education opens so many doors and opportunities and independent schools are fortunate to offer a breadth of opportunities that many schools simply cannot. 

Why is it important for parents to consider facilities, support and extra-curricular offerings?
The extra-curricular opportunities are so enriching and contribute greatly to a young person’s development. The Wakefield Grammar Schools aspire to all our students being ‘well rounded individuals’; this means they have developed a range of skills, capabilities and experiences that they can apply to different situations. This could be leadership, team work, strategy planning, coaching or mentoring, developing communication skills – all the different elements that employers and universities are looking for today. Head of Wakefield Girls’, Heidi-Jayne Boyes encourages with her philosophy ‘to give everything a go and embrace everything that comes your way. It can only help to shape who we become in the future. We make sure our students are ready for whatever comes next.

How to choose A Levels and university courses.
At Wakefield Girls’ and QEGS we have the time and space to work with each student to help them identify what they want to be and how they are going to get there. Both the academic and pastoral teams are involved in this process. Agility and knowledge are key here as it is only healthy that people change their minds and therefore we need to be adept at responding to this and this is why we usually advise to keep options open. Individualised care and bespoke meetings ensure each student feels cared for and known.

Smiles are valued as much as success: for more information, a private tour or to join their Open Morning on Saturday 7th October visit

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