Pocklington School

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Plans launched to further boost academic focus, increase choice and meet the needs of modern family life

Pocklington School Sixth Form Students

New plans have been unveiled to support the School’s strategic goal of further improving academic performance, increasing pupils’ independence and meeting the needs of modern family life. Led by Headmaster Toby Seth and endorsed by Chair of Governors Tim Stephenson, the plans focus around a new ‘working week’ which will see pupils spending more time in academic lessons across a five day week, Monday to Friday, with Saturdays reserved for sports fixtures and a new boarders’ weekend programme.

School Governors have given their unanimous approval for the plans, which were developed after extensive consultations with parents, pupils, prospective parents and staff. 

Key features include a restructure of the current timetable to provide longer lessons, allowing for more in-depth study in line with the development of the Schools ‘Values and Virtues’, plus a small extension to term dates to facilitate additional teaching time.  This will result in an increase of two weeks teaching time across the academic year for Pocklington School pupils, and an increase of six days teaching time for Prep School pupils.  

Additional subjects will be included in the curriculum for Middle School and Sixth Form, including a new BTEC Business course.  The School’s vital co-curricular programme will be enhanced during the week and at weekends, with a wider variety of sporting options being made available.  

For the School’s vibrant boarding community, an improved and more varied weekend activity programme will be on offer, and all pupils will receive a bespoke ‘tutor programme’ designed to support students’ pastoral care.  Extra time will also be made available for staff training before the start of the Autumn term. 

In addition, the new plans will create a synchronised Prep and Senior School timetable that allows for additional use of the Foundation’s excellent shared facilities such as the Tom Stoppard Theatre, its sports pitches and swimming pool.  

Toby Seth, Headmaster said: “Our new working week will improve our overall educational product and experience for generations of Pocklington students to come.  They will benefit from longer lessons during the week, giving them the time to develop independent thinking, consider problems in more depth and undertake practical work on a more frequent basis.  

Our enhanced sporting and co-curricular programmes will give students the opportunity to develop new interests, follow their passions and learn vital new skills to take with them when they leave school.  In addition to this, we are determined to give our students the time to be able to relax and spend time with their families, plus pursue any outside interests they have, which is so important for their wellbeing.”  

Tim Stephenson, Chair of Governors, commented: “We believe it is right to provide our pupils the very best platform to prepare them for whatever pathway their future holds. This is even more important given the increasingly uncertain world our students are facing when they leave school.  We will always be ready to make appropriate changes as the needs of pupils change, at the same time maintaining the best of our values and traditions. We looked very closely at what families wanted from an independent education and have adapted our already very strong provision to meet their needs too. I would like to thank everyone involved in creating and refining this initiative, to produce what is an exciting development for the Foundation.” 

Pocklington School and Pocklington Prep School’s new working week plans will be adopted from September 2021. For further details see bit.ly/365KdZS