Our Ethos and Aims
West Hill Park is a caring community that inspires every child to have a love of learning through curiosity, opportunities and experiences and within a safe and nurturing environment.
- Curriculum – to deliver an exciting, challenging and stimulating curriculum that engages every child and provide the skills needed for their future and an ever-changing world.
- Pastoral Care – to develop and care for the physical, social and mental well-being of every child through a supportive environment that allows the individual’s voice to be valued.
- Values – to have positive relationships with all members of the WHP community built on mutual respect, kindness and good manners.
- Community – to allow opportunities for children to engage and positively contribute to the local community and society more widely.
Every child has an area in which they can excel, and the diverse curriculum and enrichment activities we offer gives them just this opportunity. We focus on nurturing three main pillars of character and emotional intelligence.
The tremendous diversity of opportunity we offer allows each of our pupils to find a space in which they can excel. Be it in the science lab, learning an instrument, a new artistic creation, performing in the latest stage production, forest school adventures, or on the sports pitch, every child can find the success that builds vital confidence.
The support and encouragement our children receive from our close community and excellent pastoral care help foster a learning environment where children are prepared to push the edge of their comfort zone, be it through extension work in the classroom, or challenges outside it. We value effort, kindness and positive attitude above all, and in this setting a child is unafraid to take risks to fulfil their potential.
Respect, caring and empathy are critical to our happy boarding and day school community. They are absolutely key to our core pillars of learning and behaviour.
Every aspect of a culture that creates a contented study environment for the child must be based on a generosity of spirit that is highly valued by the peer group.
These close and supportive interpersonal relationships are encouraged through activities that complement our study and developmental objectives. Older years caring and working with the younger is given priority in our vertically structured academic and extra-curricular house events, while the outdoor modules in our curriculum are very appropriate for children to learn to cooperate and enjoy each other’s company in new and challenging surroundings.
Thriving when challenged, and flexibility in a changing environment, are key skills for the next step in our children’s learning journey.
As our pupils progress, there will sometimes be bumps in the road, and our aim is to guide them on this journey. The inevitable misstep elicits a sympathetic response, enabling them to react positively and constructively. Mistakes are an opportunity for growth, and we create an environment where the children feel safe to take a risk. Respect for and empathy with the children, and a support system with staff that know them well, help them to rebound with spirit and learn from the experience. Our curriculum, both indoor and outdoor, is built around the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses, tailored to set the achievable goals that will motivate, enthuse and reward.
As important as the content of the curriculum, are the learning skills so important to taking advantage of the opportunities on offer and to fulfil a child’s potential in life’s journey.
Curious and Expressive
A love of learning and a will to discover is perhaps the greatest gift to a child, developing a character flexible and content in a quickly changing world.
In Early Years, where our children follow a curiosity based curriculum, they are given a wide range of authentic real life resources with which to create and discover, fostering critical thinking and the urge to explore.
Pupils are always encouraged to put forward their opinions and ask questions. We appreciate and celebrate the diversity of our children who feel confident to express themselves in different environments. To cater to this, we offer a range of opportunities to present to a supportive group, whether it be on the stage, in the classroom or in our beautiful grounds.
The ability to both work in and lead a group is critical at the child’s next step school and in later life.
This expertise is nurtured throughout the curriculum and manifests itself in the extensive range of activities our pupils take part in every week. Group and project work is the norm in our buzzing classrooms, as it is on the playing field, in our outdoor education programme and throughout our expeditions.
The children are encouraged to plan, choose ambitious but reasonable goals and stick to them. They learn to use their areas of strength to contribute to the group and leadership roles to harness them while committing to the venture even if they do not wholly agree with its direction. We ensure at every level of the school, such as in the school council, in positions of authority such as being a prefect or sports captain, we nurture these essential skills.
Independent and Reflective
Self-awareness, with the ability to assess oneself with a degree of impartially, is a great asset not only in education but also in adult life.
As we move towards the Prep School Baccalaureate (PSB) learning skills-based curriculum, we are making more time for this thoughtfulness and opportunities to self-reflect as it is a vital highly transferable skill. A child’s ability to appraise their own work effectively not only improves their ability to avoid repeating mistakes but increases their appreciation of the strength of others and what is worthy of imitation. We believe this independence of mind is an important foundation of original thinking and contributes to the other critical learning skills such as contributing individual insight productively to the many group and project sessions we build into their learning journey.