Welcome from the Head Teacher

A very warm welcome to St Ives! Thank you for taking the time to find out more about our school.

I have been teaching at St Ives since 2011, and have been Head Teacher since 2014. During that time, I have been committed to ensuring that the education we provide is the best possible combination of academic, pastoral, sporting and creative, to bring out the best in each and every child.

The amazing thing about St Ives is its uniquely warm and encouraging atmosphere, which has been inspiring pupils since we first opened our doors in 1911. Seeing the children happy to try something new, take risks and give it their all with confidence is how we judge our success.

We are thrilled to have been crowned the winner of the Small Independent School of the Year at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2022.  The judges praised us for our 'engaging entry' which highlighted 'the energy and buzz of the school' as well as the evidence that we put the wellbeing of our pupils at the heart of every decision we make.  We also won this award in 2019, were a finalist in 2022 and shortlisted in 2021, which undoubtedly reflects the hard work and dedication of both our staff and the children and our commitment to ensuring we provide our pupils with the very best educational experience there is to offer.  We have always believed that our size means we have the best pastoral care in the country and it’s wonderful to see this being recognised.

We were also delighted to receive the highest possible grading in our recent ISI Inspection of ‘double excellent’ in January 2023.  The ISI inspects schools in two areas – the quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements and  the quality of the pupils’ personal development.  We were measured as excellent in both areas!  This is the highest level of feedback you can receive and is testament to the high standards and committed team we have here at St Ives.  We are also fully compliant in all areas of our Regulatory Compliance Inspection. 

By the time St Ives pupils leave us, they are fully prepared for that next important step – indeed, every single one of our Year 6s received an offer for their first-choice senior school last year, with many being awarded scholarships from the country’s most prestigious schools.

We offer an outstanding education within a fun, supportive community, where the individual progress of each pupil is celebrated. From stimulating lessons taught by specialist subject teachers to Forest School teambuilding activities, working hard and having fun go hand-in-hand at St Ives.

The best way to really get to know St Ives is to see it for yourself, either at one of our open mornings or on a personal tour.

I look forward to welcoming you here soon.

Kay Goldsworthy
Head Teacher


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 and 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.

Why do you think St Ives won Small Independent School of the Year at the Independent Schools Awards 2022? 

I believe the reasons we won are numerous.  However, the judges praised us for putting the wellbeing of our pupils at the heart of every decision we make and quoted that our entry highlighted 'the energy and buzz of the school'.  There is definitely a unique culture at St Ives, a culture of kindness, warmth and support, where the individual progress of each pupil is truly celebrated. We are unique in our small size which means our pupil to teacher ratio is the best in the area, giving all our pupils excellent individual attention as and when they need it. Being small also means our pastoral care is second to none - our pupils have such a happy time here and leave us brimming with confidence. 

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 children from 2 years upwards. 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, golf, cricket 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 and B teams.

Where do St Ives pupils go to after they have left?

St Ives is a truly independent school and prides itself on preparing the pupils 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, Tormead, Seaford College and Churcher's College. Further afield our pupils have gone to St George's Ascot, Rodean and Sherborne.

Senior school scholarships are often awarded to pupils at St Ives and we are always delighted by the positive feedback we receive about our pupils and how well they are prepared for life at senior school. 


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