'A community where each cares for all and individuality is cherished'
We are proud of our Sutton Valence community with its strong set of values which reflect our principles as a Christian foundation. Indeed our educational philosophy is focused on its preservation, as it is our belief that if pupils of all ages are to be suitably ambitious and indeed risk failing, they need to be confident of their surroundings. Our pastoral structure is thus designed to act as a safety net.
Naturally, this has to be lowered over time, but we know that when a pupil feels safe, they will push themselves beyond what they know. Only by doing this will they truly discover their full potential. Great emphasis is also placed on the fact that our community is made up of many individuals, with their own particular strengths and weaknesses. We deliberately highlight the fact our community is strengthened because of our differences and the fact that we can all contribute in different ways.
Thus, from the first moment the journey begins, a child starting at Sutton Valence Preparatory School knows that they are a valued member of a very special community and they learn that our School family holds an important place within a much wider community. Every week the pupils are reminded of this through their involvement in special Assemblies and Chapel services that celebrate the achievements of their peers as well as requiring them to reflect on the opportunities they have to contribute to both local and global communities.
A sense of belonging
Our youngest pupils learn how to join together to contribute positively to life in their own forms, whilst in the Senior School pupils become members of vertical tutor groups. A House system that provides both a sense of belonging and an opportunity to compete with one’s peers is at the heart of both Schools. Tutor groups in the Senior School offer our pupils a focal point for their involvement in every aspect of School life, giving them the chance to interact with and learn from pupils of all ages. These are in effect small family units that provide pupils with an enhanced sense of belonging. Similarly for those that board, opportunities are provided that are designed to develop key personal skills and confidence. It is no coincidence that the concepts of integrity and tolerance lie at the heart of our boarding vision. The pupils who live overseas and their families all play an integral role in enhancing our understanding of our place in the global community.
This is certainly reflected in the fact that at all stages of their School journey, pupils take part in fundraising activities. As the children progress through the School they begin to take a more active role in the selection and organisation of fund-raising events for charities and causes that they themselves have chosen. They are also given a variety of opportunities to fulfil their responsibilities towards the wider community as close ties are forged with Sutton Valence village.
Our School benefits immensely from being a part of the wider Sutton Valence community. Our youngest pupils enjoy learning from the Senior School pupils and teachers when they take part in enrichment activities, whilst the opportunity to act as a mentor and role model, helps those in the Senior School to understand that with privilege comes responsibility. Certainly, our close association with Westminster Abbey and the United Westminster Schools Foundation provides us with a heightened appreciation of the world beyond the School gates, whilst the active involvement of our parents and the Old Suttonians further emphasises a sense of belonging as lifelong friendships are forged across generations.