A holistic approach
What does 'holistic' really mean.....
The term 'holistic education' is often applied rather casually to indicate that a school's approach to teaching goes beyond academic education. In reality it reflects a much more fundamental difference in approach. It has been described as 'helping students be the most that they can be'. As well as intellectual and academic development it aims to encompass physical, spiritual, social, artistic, creative and emotional aspects of a child's development. This broadly based approach is particularly apposite when dealing with children with complex needs, either inherent or acquired.
....and what does Frewen College offer?
Frewen's approach to education has always been 'holistic', albeit that the practices were often in place well before the term became well known. A holistic approach that fully encompasses the non educational needs of our pupils, such as health or social development, is intrinsic in all that we do. It is particularly evident in our boarding provision as evidenced in our 'Outstanding' Ofsted reports. You will see examples all through our website, but in brief:
This is promoted both through a very wide range of sports, differentiated to the needs of individual children, but also through developing awareness of the benefits of healthy eating. Our catering team use local produce wherever possible, including much from our own gardens, and prepare everything in-house. Pupils are helped to make healthy and balanced dietary choices, and we cater for around 20 differing specialist diets. We have our own Matron with a well equipped sick bay, and the school doctor is just 5 minutes down the road.Home grown vegetables encourage healthy eating... and a sense of achievement.
Artistic and creative development:
Art is a considerable strength, supporting the widely held belief that many dyslexics benefit from enhanced creativity. Students are strongly encouraged to develop along their own creative paths, but also to think about their work and explain how they have developed their ideas. Performing arts are also strong, starting in the Prep school with at least two public performances each year. A newly appointed young dance and drama teacher will greatly strengthen these areas of our provision, and we offer a wide range of one to one music lessons.Malvolio from our recent production of Twelfth Night
A number of children who come to us initially have difficulty interacting positively and appropriately, whether with peers or adults. This may result from their SEN, or it may be a reaction to previous difficult experiences at school. Our work on improving self esteem and encouraging social interaction helps to integrate these children into the school community, and this is backed up by the work of our trained Counsellors and our Educational Psychotherapist.
As a non-denominational school without religious affiliations, we are completely free to give pupils a broadly balanced spiritual education encompassing all major religions, and indeed to understand it is perfectly possible to have a strong moral code without religion.
As well as the challenges presented by their special educational needs and the onset of teenage hormones, a significant minority of pupils have fragmented families, or some other disruption in their home lives. The availability of our trained counsellors and Educational Psychotherapist, as well as more informal support from year group tutors, boarding staff, and even the availability of a dog to stroke, all provide tremendously valuable support as we help our young people through their journey towards adult life.
Our beautiful rural location brings environmental issues very much to the fore. Supplementing the Science curriculum, we encourage pupils' involvement in the gardens and are developing a conservation area for the seniors, and a sensory garden for the juniors. Pupils are encouraged to keep an eye on classroom staff to ensure they turn off lights, close windows, save paper, and use the recycling bins placed all around the school.