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‘Amazing’ children applauded for effort

01 Jul 2016

CHILDREN, parents and staff celebrated success as a North school continues to grow the minds of the region’s next generation.
The 205 ‘truly amazing children’ at Barnard Castle Preparatory School were applauded for their efforts, which have seen them excel academically, in sport, art, drama, manners, courtesy and resilience – crucial areas of learning recognised and endorsed by independent schools inspectors.
Summing up her first year at the helm, new headmistress Laura Turner told parents attending the annual speech day: “The Prep School is a success because we value uniqueness.
“Every member of staff knows your children, what makes them happy, what makes them sad, how to make them smile, feel confident; they know their strengths, their weaknesses and their talents. We help them flourish and reach their potential but most importantly we support them along the way when things get tough.”
She said the aim was to make all the children free thinking, independent people not mere machines.
“By giving them all the chance to learn to manage adversity, and to cope with failure, we find they grow in character, developing perseverance and resilience,” Mrs Turner said.
“There are so many wonderful things to be learnt from trying, failing, and trying again. In the Prep School we teach responsibility, organisation, manners, restraint and foresight. These skills may not get assessed through standardised testing, but they are, by far, the most important life skills we can teach them to allow children to face what lies ahead.”
She said she was so pleased to be part of a school which offered a broad education, focusing on the whole person and based on huge variety and all-round excellence.
“Academic matters are at the heart of what we do,” she said. “Sport, music, drama, activities, community service and trips are an essential part of what we offer, and they all complement what goes on in the classroom.”
Mrs Turner outlined the highlights of the year including the completion of the extension of the Prep School, gaining three new classrooms, a science lab, a music base, a modern foreign languages room and two improved play surfaces.
Art and DT teacher Helen Brown, who is retiring from Prep School after 20 years of service, presented prizes and entertainment was provided by the Prep Orchestra, Junior Choir, Pre-prep Choir, the Razzling Reeds and the Harmony Choir.
Mrs Turner said: “Teaching requires great love, wisdom and patience. It takes time and care and skill to discover the best in each child, and then to draw it out. Our capacity to help children to be creative thinkers and innovative problem solvers comes from using our own mental processing to explore the world and this is a compliment that is owed to the wonderful Prep School staff team.”