|The three school structure is at the heart of our approach to educating young people. Relatively unusual in traditional independent schools, this structure allows our three different age groups to live, work and socialise in their own unique areas. It is based on the fact that 18 year olds and 11 year olds have very different needs.
The Junior School is for the foundation years (11 – 14 years). Life in the Junior School is characterised by close support, understanding and the freedom to have fun.
The Middle School is home during the GCSE years (14 – 16 years). It offers a more mature environment where enjoyment is still a key factor but where there is a strong focus on GCSE preparation.
The Senior School (16 to 18 years) continues the natural progression of social life and study and is an excellent bridge between school and university. The sixth form girls’ house, Green Wing, offers a taste of independent living prior to university, which is an additional benefit of attending a private school such as Denstone.
Every pupil at Denstone, whether boarding or day, belongs to a house. Each house has its own distinctive character and inspires great loyalty. Friendship and camaraderie between pupils only increases as houses compete together but also they have their own social activities that may involve trips out, social evenings, house dinners and other activities. In every house there is a great sense of pride and purpose, particularly when girls and boys are representing their house in a competition. These happen in a range of sports including netball, hockey, tennis and rugby. There are house music and drama festivals, and House Effort and Music Cups, awarded for effort and academic work. Every year culminates in a house dinner, which is a celebration of the year's highlights.
One of the main purposes of the house system is to provide pastoral care for the pupils. The pastoral support team within a house is led by its Head of House and a team of tutors. The relationship between Head of House and tutors with parents is a crucial one and we encourage communication and involvement. Well qualified staff address pupil needs and are the link between school and home. Every pupil has a tutor with whom they will meet regularly; to discuss reports, targets, choices, problems and achievements, in registrations and tutor group meetings as well as informally around the school. The tutor provides a major point of contact between staff and parents for all matters academic.
From the structure of the house tutorial system, to the much more informal access to Medical Centre, Chaplain, Senior Mistress, Senior Master, Head of School/ Moss Moor or prefects, the framework of pastoral care ensures that at every step each pupil's development is monitored and fully supported. The diversity of support and care which the pupils have available means that they are treated as individuals, and can always find someone to discuss their questions or concerns.
The houses are Heywood, Meynell, Philips, Selwyn, Shrewsbury and Woodard, and each enjoys a committed and enthusiastic pupil membership, keenly managed by the heads and captains of house.
Our belief in this structure is endorsed by parents, boarders and day pupils who regularly tell us about the pastoral and social benefits.