Coming 19th in UK academic ranking, Caterham School is a leading independent school and also one of the few in England that uses Apple devices for teaching. Recently the school's admissions officer Matthew Godfrey received an inclusive interview with BE, in which he mentioned the type of students they're looking for during the admission process.
Click the link below to watch the interview
BE: Could you please introduce Caterham first, and how does it compare with other boarding schools in Britain?
Matthew Godfrey (MG) : Caterham School is a co-educational school of nine hundred pupils, just South of London, beautifully situated on the Surrey Hills.
In terms of how is it different from other schools, I'd like to identify three things. The first thing is individualized learning. We're very interested to know how different pupils learn in different ways, and what their particular talents and strengths are. Then we will divide teaching and learning for each individual pupil.
The second thing is we embrace technology and we use it in a very innovative way. So we're issuing every pupil with an ipad and we're asking them to be innovative when they use it.
And the third thing I'd like to say is that we have a very proud tradition of friendly and caring boarding. Our pupils love their boarding houses and become very loyal to them. So when they leave our school they always want to come back to keep in touch with their friends.
BE: What's the philosophy of Caterham ?
MG: There are many facets to our philosophy. But the key things are achieving your potential. Yes, we're very proud of our academic achievements, but we add value to pupils do better at our school than they will do at other schools, because we're so passionate about what we do.
The other education philosophy we have which is very important is that we care for each other, and we care for the community, the wider community and the global community. So we are preparing pupils for life. Yes, qualifications matter. But we want to go out to the world as caring and interested people.
We are promoting three things. They all begin with C. Confidence. We want our pupils to leave feeling confident in themselves. We want our pupils to be curious, and we want them to be compassionate. So Confidence, Curiosity and Compassion.
BE: Could you talk a little about the unique courses in your school, as well as the extra-curricular activities ?
MG: The unique courses that they can do at Caterham School - one of them would be the digital technology. Every pupil, from age 11, follows a special digital innovative course, leading to a qualification at GCSE in computing and digital innovation. The other uniqueness about Caterham School is our science. It is our most popular subject. We have a great deal of success in promoting science and getting pupil into medical school, whether it's Oxford, Cambridge or any of the leading universities. That's just one of our strengths.
BE: I know Caterham has a very excellent team of teachers. Could you talk a little bit about your teachers
MG: You're right to say that Caterham attracts some of the best teachers in the country. In fact this year we were very pleased that our Head of Science was nominated as the UK's Best Science Teacher, which is a wonderful accolade to the whole science department. A high proportion of our teachers are educated at the top universities and they do a wonderful job, and it is really the reason why Caterham is as successful as it is.
BE: What about the matriculation results ?
MG: Obviously there are a lot of ways that can measure educational success. One way is to look at the number of pupils who go to our top universities. So the last three years, 49 pupils have progressed to Oxford and Cambridge universities, which amounts to between ten and fifteen percent of all our leavers. In terms of our A level results, approximately 80 percent of pupils will achieve A*/A grades in their A levels.
BE: What students are you looking for entry? What qualities do you want to see in applicants?
MG: We don't want anyone to pretend to be somebody that they're not. We love to take our pupils for who they are. Of course we will help develop them and bring them up, but I don't want you to think that we want them to change, we want them to be themselves. However, we obviously need our pupils to have a good standard of English because when they arrive at Caterham School, they need to be able to understand all the lessons they're in. That's one basic thing.
But otherwise we want a spirit of adventure, a natural curiosity. We want pupils who are willing to take risks and really try things out. I think when I am interviewing pupils to come to Caterham School, I'm looking for someone who is going to be friendly, enthusiastic, a team player, and also who's going to work not because they feel they have to but because they want to.
This year, G, our BE student has gained an offer letter from Caterham
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