St George’s School Windsor Castle has become the first standalone prep school anywhere in the UK authorised to deliver the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP).
St George’s School Windsor Castle, one of the oldest schools in the UK, is now officially also one of the most forward looking, having become the first standalone prep school anywhere in the UK authorised to deliver the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP).
Driven by a vision to ensure students become ‘Real World Ready’, the school’s new IB World School status was achieved following a two-year candidacy period which saw St George’s fully embed the globally recognised curriculum framework from Kindergarten up to the end of Year 6.
A pioneering and rigorous approach, the International Baccalaureate teaches fundamental study skills in addition to broad subject knowledge, encouraging children to take ownership of their learning and develop a range of competencies anticipated to be in high demand in the workplaces of tomorrow.
“Rather than learning subjects by rote with the sole goal of passing exams, IB students have the opportunity to reflect upon what they already understand, identify their own knowledge gaps and areas of interest and explore how to research and develop a deeper understanding of each topic across a range of subject areas and practical applications,” explained Emma Adriano, Deputy Head and Head of Pre-Prep at St George’s School Windsor Castle, who spearheaded the curriculum roll out at the school. “This approach develops exceptionally well-rounded students who understand the relevance of what they are learning to the real world and will be able to adapt to a rapidly evolving and increasingly interconnected future. Fundamentally, alongside imparting knowledge, the curriculum teaches not what to think, but how to learn.”
This approach has already garnered widespread support from educationalists and industry leaders alike. Following a year-long project evaluating ‘how to unleash the potential of every child’, in June 2022 the Times Education Commission cited the implementation of a baccalaureate curriculum as the first recommendation in their twelve-point plan. In November of the same year, the Future Skills Report, jointly commissioned by the IB Schools and Colleges Association of the UK and Ireland (IBSCA) and ACS International Schools, found that 88% of small and medium sized enterprise leaders cited communication as the most desired skill set in future employees, followed by an inquiring mind (78%) and the ability to think critically (76%).
“We knew that the rapid pace of change and uncertainty around the future job market required a bold change of strategy and we can already see this paying off in how the children now approach their learning,” added Adriano.
Parents of children at the school have also noticed the change, with 100% of families surveyed by the Independent Schools Inspectorate as part of the school’s ‘excellent’ recent inspection agreeing or strongly agreeing that ‘the school equips my child with the team working, collaborative and research skills they need in later life’. As a result of implementing the International Baccalaureate, the school was also last week named as a finalist in the Independent Schools of the Year 2023 awards.
Ian Canning, the school’s Chair of Governors commented: “It gives me great pleasure to confirm that St George’s is now an accredited IB World School, having progressed through the authorisation process delivering the Primary Years Programme as our core curriculum and philosophy of learning and teaching. This marks a great milestone in our journey as a school and solidifies our commitment to providing a transformational education which delivers the very best outcomes for our students.”
St George's School Windsor Castle becomes the first standalone prep school in the UK to become a full member of Round Square, providing students with incredible opportunities to collaborate with other children across the globe.
St George’s School Windsor Castle, a pioneering prep school for children aged three to 13, has been presented with an official flag during a private service in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, marking the school becoming a Global Member of the Round Square network.
The first standalone prep in the UK to achieve full membership, St George's School Windsor Castle now joins over 250 schools in 50 countries which are committed to an integrated educational philosophy built around the six Round Square IDEALS of learning (Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service).
"Becoming a full member school is a wonderful achievement and I am delighted that the Round Square flag now flies proudly above our school," said William Goldsmith, Head at St George's School Windsor Castle. "Round Square exists to bring schools together under a commonality of purpose. Our increasing involvement will only broaden our students' horizons and global outlook further. It has also led to us developing a rich programme of service learning for our students to engage with, which has already seen over 100 children taking up volunteering roles in the local community this year alone."
Membership enables both students and staff to collaborate internationally, with regular opportunities to take part in conferences and exchanges, share best practice and learn about other cultures. Through the two-year candidacy period leading up to full accreditation, students at St George's School Windsor Castle have already taken part in various initiatives including an online leadership conference with schools in Pakistan and India and a global art project bringing together schools from around the world to create a piece of digital artwork drawing inspiration from David Hockney's painting 'A Bigger Grand Canyon'.
"We have all been impressed and delighted by our interactions with St George's School Windsor Castle during its Candidacy," said Rachael Westgarth, Chief Executive of Round Square. "Already, St George’s students and staff have made many excellent contributions to academic and extra-curricular collaborations with their peers in schools around the world, building international understanding and making many new friends. We congratulate St George’s School Windsor Castle on achieving Round Square Global Membership and hope that the school community gains much from the international opportunities that lie ahead.”
Further information about St George’s School Windsor Castle can be found at www.stgwindsor.org.
St George’s School Windsor Castle have earned yet another international accreditation this half term, this time through the Eco-Schools Green Flag award, which has been achieved with Distinction.
Further to being awarded High Performance Learning World Class School status in May, St George’s School Windsor Castle have earned another international accreditation this half term, this time through the Eco-Schools Green Flag award, which has been achieved with Distinction. The Flag recognises work undertaken by the school’s Eco Club to make the school more environmentally friendly and raise eco-awareness in fellow students.
After first forming an Eco-Committee, students at St George’s School Windsor Castle conducted an environmental review, assessing how eco-friendly the school was. They reviewed everything from biodiversity within the school grounds to how students and staff members travel to school. Building on their findings, the children, supported by the school’s Eco Club lead, Emily Ralfe, then planned and delivered a year of action designed to advance their school’s green credentials, improve their local environment, and protect the planet.
Among other successes, Eco Club initiatives this year have included an Electricity Free Day, timed to coincide with the school’s Coronation celebrations in recognition of His Majesty The King’s focus on environmentalism. Several activities also took place to raise awareness of Fairtrade Fortnight, including taking over the school’s student-run radio station, Castleside Radio. with a live on-air chocolate tasting, The Club also held a bake sale to fundraise for Toilet Twinning, enabling St George’s to sponsor a toilet block at a school in Tanzania, as well as two latrines in Malawi and assisting a community in rural Kenya to access safe, clean water through the sponsorship of a tap.
In addition to direct action, the children in the school’s Eco Club also became published authors this year, when poems they had written about being green were published in ‘The Big Green Poetry Machine’, an anthology collated by the Young Writers organisation.
Emily Ralfe, Year 4 Teacher and Eco Club Lead at St George’s School Windsor Castle, said: “Achieving the Eco-Schools Green Flag award with Distinction rounds off an incredible year for the school’s Eco Club students. Just recognition for their dedication and hard work, the award demonstrates our commitment as a school to continuing to look for ways to reduce our impact on the planet and to help raise future generations to be compassionate global citizens with the awareness and desire to take positive action.”
The Eco-Schools programme was established in 1994 and is now delivered in more than 70 countries across the globe.
Eco-Schools England Manager, Adam Flint, said: “The Eco-Schools Green Flag award is an internationally recognised symbol of high environmental standards. The pupils and school staff that earn the award deserve immense credit for their hard work, determination, and creativity. Their passion for protecting our planet is an inspiration to us all.”
Further information about St George’s School Windsor Castle, along with details of how to register for a place at the school’s next open morning on Friday 22 September 2023, can be found at www.stgwindsor.org.