The following comments are a selection of those received by the school in recent months, from both parents and pupils. If anyone would like to have a comment added, please e-mail the Headmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will arrange for it to be included. Please note that names of parents and pupils have been changed or deleted in order to preserve anonymity and/or avoid any potential for embarrassment.
“I started my secondary school education at a state school and I was then lucky enough to join Silcoates at the end of Year 7. I immediately noticed the warm and friendly atmosphere. As a swimmer at the local City of Wakefield Swimming Club I was asked to join the swimming team training just two days after I started, and I was also asked to take part in an inter-schools athletics event the following week. Life was very busy suddenly.
Throughout my time at Silcoates I enjoyed representing the school at swimming, athletes and cross country. I have also taken part in school plays and just recently completed my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. This year I have enjoyed being the Sixth Form Duke of Edinburgh Prefect and also being Girls’ Swimming Captain and Girls’ Cross Country Captain.
I was encouraged to take part in as much as I felt comfortable with at Silcoates, but I was also able to say no to things when my schedule was too tight. I was given support in everything that I did and wanted to achieve. I have a very high regard for all the teaching staff who, in the six years I was a pupil, never failed me. I have just left the Sixth Form and I am about to start university. Overall, I feel very privileged to have been a Silcoatian.”
“After reading your views in the Yorkshire Post on Saturday in the Independent Schools section, I felt I wanted to email to add my support. “Here, here,” I wanted to say. It was good to read your thoughts and for you to say what you did about exam results and league tables. I too firmly believe it is not all about that. You need to visit and, as you said, get a feel for the school through the staff and the children who attend.
I feel our world has gone crazy in measuring ‘results’ whether it is in health, education or local authority services. I feel it is down to the individual / group who are giving and receiving the service rather than the figures provided. We cannot all be Einstein – indeed, who would want to be? I measure my children’s day by the enthusiastic ‘download’ I listen to in the car on the way home, even down to the exciting puddings at lunch time, or what Sir or Miss have said during the day.
We chose Silcoates as the best school to continue to educate our boys, and each visit to school just re-enforces that it was the best decision we could make. Your staff are by far your biggest asset, as well as all the many opportunities the school has on offer.
The staff’s enthusiasm for whatever they are doing rubs off on our children and it shows. A prime example of this I remember was one of our first Open Days without the boys. We met Mr Mistry in the DT room and he was explaining to us with such enthusiasm and passion about making electronic circuits with the new Year 7s. I knew I wanted my boys to experience that. It was the same when we met Mrs Hayes in the Art Department. I thought to myself that this teacher will encourage every bit of interest out of my child. A year later and our elder child comes home with an incredible buzzer / circuit that he shows me with pride and an Art portfolio full of As.
Our younger son too has thrived and improved in his first year through the excellent assessment and support of Mrs Sugden, especially with his Maths and English. His confidence has really grown and, as you said, that has ultimately shown in his results anyway.
I also feel that your pastoral care is paramount too. Our children feel secure and again that leads to increased learning. Mr Clewarth helped to restore the elder boy’s shattered confidence from prolonged bullying at his previous school; twelve months on he is like a different child.
It is like planting your child in the best place for them to grow, and grow they have indeed, which can also be measured if necessary by the increase in my Sainsbury’s delivery every week if you need those figures!
Our boys do rise to the challenges you set before them and we encourage them to make the best of every opportunity each day. We are thrilled with our boys’ first twelve months at Silcoates. After all, you must be good to get our children happily out of bed at 6.15am every morning!”
“When my son started in Year 3 last September he knew no one at Silcoates and so we were naturally apprehensive. From the first day in Mr Piggott’s class he has loved every minute – making new friends, joining new clubs, gaining more independence and already he has a real sense of pride and belonging to Silcoates.”
“We would like to thank you for the sincere effort you have made to make our son feel so welcome at Silcoates. It is heartening for us as parents to see him look forward to school each day with excitement and anticipation. This would not be possible without the enthusiasm and dedication each member of staff displays for their subject. We also appreciate the fine and well rehearsed drama and music productions together with the high standards of excellence achieved through the consistent attention to detail of each staff member. Silcoates has certainly lived up to its reputation as ‘the friendly school’.”
“We would just like to state that the transition of passing over the Headship for Silcoates has been smooth and efficient; as is usual for this wonderful school! We have worked so hard to enable our child to attend here and have been rewarded greatly for our efforts already. The teaching staff always take the time and initiative to ensure that each child fulfils their potential and interests. Everyone involved with the pupils has a positive, caring and enthusiastic approach to ensure the best for all. The facilities, trips, pursuits and general organisation are fantastic. The curriculum itself and extra activities are broad, enriching and exciting. The caring empathy of the school is tangible. We are more than happy with the manner in which our child is being educated, guided and mentored. Thank you wholeheartedly for all that you and your staff do for all the young people at Silcoates School.”
“Can I just tell everyone that my sons have loved their first week at Silcoates once they got over the size and number of people? They both say the food is great and I wonder how one school can have so many ‘great’ and ‘cool’ teachers as they seem to find a new teacher to apply these superlatives to each day. I was very worried about moving schools but now I know I had no need. Thanks to everyone who has helped them settle in so well.”
“When we look back over our daughter’s time at Silcoates and how happy she has been there, we do so with pride. The school is always tidy and welcoming and its business – the people, their aims and values, reflect this throughout. We are proud to be a part of that. Over the years we have become increasingly appreciative of the school’s standards, expectations and how it values each individual pupil, their talents, their needs and even their personalities! More recently, we have realised the benefit of being part of a school prepared to ‘buck the trend’ of targets and league tables in order to actually teach its pupils to the highest possible standards. We refer particularly to the iGCSE options chosen by Silcoates and many top public schools, widely reported in the press and recently discussed by numerous politicians. Thank you for this. There are many compliments we could genuinely pay you and your staff. Our daughter has grown in confidence and has aspirations she wishes to develop. She joins us in expressing special thanks to her tutor, her chemistry, maths and history teachers for believing in her and making her believe in herself. They’ll understand. Also to all the sports staff who have consistently and enthusiastically given time and encouragement to their teams, both evenings and weekends. As a school we are very pleased to say you have brought out the best in our daughter whilst giving us value for money. We have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Silcoates School to others.
And just a few comments from pupils:
“I love my school. I didn’t know schools that were this nice existed.”
“I really enjoy going to a private school and feel I am very privileged to come to Silcoates. I think there are more subjects to pick from and only small classes so you can get more individual attention from the teachers. I believe this will help me in the future and will lead me to get better exam results than I would at a state school. When I picked my GCSE subjects I was able to pick from a wide variety of subjects rather than being forced to do a subject that I would not be able to achieve well in. My teachers are great because although they set a lot of homework they are always there if you need extra help with your work.”
“The school campus is excellent as it is in a great location and has some brilliant facilities such as a swimming pool and drama studio. There are always a wide variety of clubs and sports you can take part in at lunchtime and after school and plenty of trips to exciting places such as a cycling trip to Belgium. The school dinners are also excellent providing a wide range of hot and cold meals everyday. Our school grounds are kept immaculate by the grounds men at Silcoates. It really makes you feel part of a family when you come to Silcoates, everyone helping each other and you are a member of one of the school’s four houses. With the wide variety of extra-curricular activities available it is almost impossible to be bored. The school’s facilities are brilliant with a great library and excellent computers with everybody having their own email address so you can easily communicate with your friends. It makes it much easier to do your homework as your can do it at home and send it to school to print off. Overall, I believe it is a fantastic school and I am very privileged to be a student here at Silcoates.”
“Until I was 10 years old I went to a state school so I know the difference between a state school and a private school. When I came to Silcoates, the first thing I noticed was just how busy school life could be. At Silcoates you are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities that you may not have the opportunity to do in a state school. Sport is very popular with activities including netball, hockey, rugby, badminton, squash and swimming. Another thing that I noticed about life at Silcoates was how small the classes are. Sometimes a class can be as small as ten which is a big advantage as the teacher is able to spend more time with each student enabling them to understand more in that particular subject. The year groups at Silcoates are also relatively small compared to those at a state school which means that you know everybody quite well. I think that by going to a private school it will help you in the future when you decide on your career. As you progress up the school the work load increases, which prepares you for the amount of work you will need to do when you go to university. I feel that I am very lucky to be attending Silcoates because it gives me a good advantage for my future.”