Head Teacher of St Ives School, Mrs Kay Goldsworthy is an experienced educator who has held a number of teaching posts both in the UK and abroad. She has been at St Ives preparatory school since 2010 and has been Head Teacher at the school since 2014.
Here she explains her approach to teaching and to the overall direction of St Ives, her commitment to ensuring that the education St Ives provides is the best possible combination of academic, pastoral, sporting and creative to bring out the best in each and every child and to the school as a co-ed establishment.
What is your personal approach to education?
Education should be relevant, interesting, stimulating, engaging but above all fun! Children need lots of opportunities for investigation and challenge. Learning can take place anywhere, in and out of the classroom and we must seize each opportunity. Every child should leave St Ives at the end of the day feeling that today really was the best day ever.
How do you judge your success?
St Ives is truly independent and somewhere that opens doors to a variety of next-stage schools. We strive to offer everyone the opportunity to do their best to be their best. Seeing the children happy to try something new, take risks and give it their all with confidence means we have done our job well. We know that they are prepared for that next important step, whatever and wherever that might be.
What are your pupil demographics?
Our pupils predominantly come from the local area and from a variety of backgrounds. However since the completion of the Hindhead tunnel and the consequent improved accessibility of Haslemere, we are increasingly seeing more and more children come from towns slightly further afield such as Farnham, Petersfield and Godalming. School transport is also available to those who require it.
When can pupils join St Ives School?
There is no set rule as to when pupils can join St Ives. We take girls and boys in our pre-Prep from 2 years upwards and girls only from Year 3 onwards. Many of our children started in our Nursery and have journeyed all the way through, others join us throughout the different year groups depending on their own personal circumstances. Everyone is welcome and fully included in their peer group at whatever stage they join us.
How involved are parents in what goes on at the school?
Very! We operate an “open door” policy and encourage parents to take an active role in all aspects of the school. We have a very strong Parents’ Association and have “Link Parents” who help bridge the gap between home and school. It is important to listen and we are always seeking ways to take the school forward. I value the ideas and opinion of all those connected with St Ives.
How important is sport at St Ives?
There is no doubt that sport plays an important part of life at St Ives and we have quite a formidable reputation when it comes to competing! As well as two hours timetabled per week, children also take part in extra-curricular sports clubs both internally and externally in sports such as netball, hockey, cross country, tennis, horse riding and swimming. We regularly compete with other local independent schools and in many IAPS tournaments. All our pupils get the opportunity to play in matches and we offer A, B and C teams where numbers allow.
Where do St Ives pupils go to after they have left?
St Ives is a truly independent school and prides itself on preparing the girls for a wide range of senior schools, both locally and beyond. Typically these include local popular choices such as Guildford High School, Cranleigh School, Priors' Field, St Catherine’s, The Royal, Tormead and Dunhurst. Further afield our girls have gone to Queenswood, Rodean and Sherborne.
Senior school scholarships are often awarded to girls at St Ives and we are always delighted by the positive feedback we receive about our girls and how well they are prepared for life at senior school. Our year 2 boys are no exception to this and we have in place a rigorous and detailed programme designed to ensure that all our year 2 boys are fully prepared and completely ready for both the preparatory school entrance exam and the change of life they will find once they start in their new school in Year 3.
As a result of building relationships with a range of prep schools in our area, we know what these schools are looking for from our boys. It is this collaboration that forms the backbone of our work in ensuring that St Ives boys meet and exceed each criteria they set, and offering them solid and reliable preparation for the next stage of their academic careers.