Life at The Elms is just as busy outside the classroom as it is in. The children have so many opportunities to try different things and to then pursue them to a high level. Our children are highly motivated to achieve whether it be on the sports field, in the riding arena, on the farm, in the theatre, in the art room or in the music room.
At The Elms, exceptional pastoral care is at the forefront of all that we do. Our school is a really warm and friendly family environment that nurtures and cares for our children to give them the best chance of flourishing both here and beyond. Of course we want them to achieve and succeed in the classroom and in other pursuits, but we also want them to be good people and citizens who leave us full of confidence and a thirst for life.
The size of the school and the boarding ethos mean that all staff know the children and each other very well. Everyone takes an interest and responsibility and all children get the focus and attention they deserve. One of the many things on which we pride ourselves is the relationship between everybody in our school family. We all engage with the care of the children, whether they are officially responsible or not – indeed many ancillary staff have offered an open ear or a shoulder to cry on throughout the years, from those running the farm to the kitchen staff, cleaners, receptionists and grounds team!
All children have a form teacher who takes the lead on the day-to-day pastoral side and this is overseen by the Deputy Head (Pastoral). Full boarders have a boarding tutor who acts in a parental role and as their first port of call with any queries or worries, or as someone they can tell about their performance on the stage, their full marks in a Latin test or their hat-trick in the hockey match!
Sports & Games
Sport at The Elms plays a central part in school life. The children play sport every day and as a result achieve high standards. For us, sport is multi-purpose – the physical benefits are clear, but the fostering of team spirit, the encouragement and acceptance of those of all standards with the courage and willingness to have a go, and generosity of spirit in either victory or defeat are equally important.
The children benefit from the equestrian department physically, emotionally and socially. Structured riding lessons are available for all pupils in the Main School. The full spectrum of abilities are catered for from complete beginners learning the basic skills to budding young riders who compete at NSEA competitions and everything in between. In addition to lessons in the newly resurfaced outdoor arena, all able pupils have the opportunity to hone their riding skills and improve their confidence in the freedom of hacking around the spectacular Malvern countryside with their peers. The pupils help to care for the ponies; between lessons the yard is bubbling with school children in wellies, sharing in their passion and learning about all things equine along with the valuable life lessons of responsibility and self-discipline.
At the Elms we are incredibly fortunate to have a small working farm situated on our extensive grounds. The farm affords all staff an array of opportunities to educate and inspire our children whilst also contributing significantly to the ethos of the school. Children are given the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the day to day running of the farm, be it in their own time or within Rural Studies lessons as we strive to expose them to best practice farming. We also give children the opportunity to show our various livestock in Shows around the country, which requires a huge amount of dedication and commitment.
The farm provides an incredible resource to supplement the holistic education of our children at the Elms. We believe it to be of paramount importance that children are educated about the ever increasing disconnect between agriculture and processed food products and thus are afforded the opportunity to make informed decisions for themselves regarding food. Our vision for the Farm is to expose our children to sustainable farming practices and environmental issues surrounding us today so as to best prepare them for an uncertain future in great need of passionate and informed leaders.
To enrich the learning done in lessons, the children all have the opportunity to get more involved in the Performing Arts at other times in the day. Whether it be performing in the choir, shining in a Musical Theatre concert, playing the drums in the school band or at one of the many plays put on throughout the year, our children embrace the opportunity to excel and support their peers in this creative field.
Over the course of a child’s time at The Elms, our pupils have the opportunity to attend residential team building and outdoor activity courses. OUTPOSTS are a company who specialise in active educational programmes and provide courses that enable our children to develop and find out about themselves. Each course is developed and tailored specifically for each year group in order to develop essential life skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication. This all culminates at the end of Year 8 when our School Leavers spend a week at the Outposts Bush Camp in Somerset. From there the children venture out to various locations and experience a wide range of fantastic and exhilarating activities that will stick with them for a lifetime.
Every week we have an afternoon dedicated to outdoor learning. Our much loved Woodland Challenge sessions allow the children to experience the seasons as they change, encouraging them to learn and care for their natural world by immersing themselves in it. From sourcing suitable foliage for den building, or searching for firewood, to harvesting wild garlic and elderflower heads for outdoor cooking. Our budding naturalists marvel at wildlife when pond dipping, animal tracking, or conducting earth worm surveys. Whatever the weather the children immerse themselves in nature’s playground, discovering it’s endless opportunities. Each session concludes with mugs of hot chocolate consumed around a campfire and lots of happy chatter.