The school’s philosophy is based on Study Technology. The use of Study Technology is what makes Greenfields so different. In the United Kingdom, it is, at this writing, the only school that uses it – though around the world it is used by hundreds of schools to the benefit of students now numbering in the millions. Applied standardly, Study Technology produces remarkable improvements in a student’s ability which is reflected in the results he or she obtains.
Greenfields delivers an independent school education with exceptionally low fees whilst maintaining a high staff to student ratio, furnishing a full educational solution from age 2 through to age 18, Nursery to A Levels, so that parents have a complete pathway for their child. Apart from generous discounts in the early years, Greenfields Upper Seniors students are entitled to a 5% discount for every year they have spent in the Junior, Infant and Nursery School, up to a maximum of 30% off.
Qualifications Division and Adding Value to a Non-Selective Intake
Being non-selective, Greenfields Senior School also provides facilities to support and encourage students by concentrating on adding educational value at every stage of their development. Children whose prior school experience or progress may not have been satisfactory are often taken in so that they can be permitted to flourish and achieve results to the level of their potential. An entire division called Qualifications ensures that they are helped through each stage of their education with one-to-one assistance available as needed.
The school strives to give Year 9 the widest possible choice of subjects ready for their examinations in Year 10 and beyond, in alignment with its aim to provide tailored, individual support. Greenfields uses annual assessments provided by Cambridge International Examinations for quality control purposes, and individual teachers use other formal and informal assessments to ensure that students are making progress within the school year. Greenfields School respects every child and young person as an individual and aims to give them opportunities to explore and realise their potential in their development of academic, sporting, creative and social skills.
The Student Consultant
The Student Consultant is a role separate from that of the Heads of Schools which oversees the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the students.
Pastoral care sessions encourage students to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school, as well as helping students learn how to argue and defend points of view. Our ethics and morals system is overseen by the Student Consultant, whose full-time role includes ensuring that all values are actively promoted. Her office helps students to understand how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged. Collectively, we ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair and daily help students to distinguish right from wrong.
The system assists students to respect the law and the basis on which it is made and brings students to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals. In cases where disagreement arises, the system includes restorative justice approaches to resolve conflicts.
Greenfields pastoral care provision supports students in developing self-knowledge, self-esteem and selfconfidence, encourages students to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights, and models freedom of speech through student participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable students and promoting critical analysis of evidence. Our ethics and morals system helps to implement a strong anti-bullying culture in which students, parents and staff views are valued and sought, and all students are made aware, where possible of others’ needs and how to support each other. This actively promotes respect for individual differences, helps students to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life, and challenges prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
Part of the Greenfields’ ethics and morals system is the use of The Way to Happiness, a universal moral code devised by L. Ron Hubbard, the developer of the Study Technology used in the school. This code forms the basis for moral behaviour in the school and consists of 21 precepts which children of all ages are encouraged to follow. The Way to Happiness is used in classroom environments and as a separate course. Its precepts embody, reinforce and promote British values.
The student ethics system used at Greenfields is unique and based on a set of rules originally devised in consultation with the students themselves. All staff, and in particular the Student Consultant, who is in charge of the application of the ethics system throughout the school, consult student willingness to observe and confront their own behaviour and that of others, encourage responsibility to be taken for their own actions and those of others, and permit and support a redemptory and conciliatory approach to be taken in which reparation and amends is offered for misdeeds as opposed to punishment. Where discipline is needed, individual programmes are worked out in consultation with the individual student concerned and, when needed, his or her parents. These are followed where appropriate by pastoral care programmes to ensure that the individual is educated on any underlying principles leading to misbehaviour.
Greenfields’ zero tolerance approach to bullying is acknowledged as effective by students themselves. Student questionnaires strongly support the school, commenting particularly on teachers helping them to learn. Greenfields students develop a strong moral awareness which pervades the whole life of the school, clearly understanding right from wrong. They develop a good sense of identity, self-worth and self-confidence as demonstrated by their demeanour around the school and in many of their activities.
The result is students who are re-engaged with themselves, with the group, and with their studies, regaining self-respect and purpose, rather than the alienation, dissent and division common in other approaches, which can produce degradation and apathy.
As a result of all of the above, Greenfields students know where they can go for help and know that something will be done, commonly reporting that they learn self-discipline, and learn to communicate verbally, not physically, with anyone causing annoyance.
Their first port of call is their Class Tutor, with the added facility of the Student Consultant whose role is described above. If students require help in addition to that given by their Class Tutor, they are sent to the Student Consultant to assist with the resolution of any issues. These procedures are implemented consistently by all staff.
Relationships Between Staff and Students
The good relationships between staff and students, and amongst the students themselves are a notable feature of Greenfields School and are part of its strength. Children and parents are often personally welcomed by the Executive Head Teacher or the Heads of the Junior, Infant and Nursery and Senior Schools in the morning and the care that the
staff devote to the well-being of their students is appreciated by both the students and the parents in letters and questionnaire responses. That students and staff have a mutual respect and remarkable rapport can also be judged from the high quality of graduate speeches given each year at an annual ceremony as part of the school’s Gala Weekend.
Greenfields has a significant number of students from around the world, from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. Many students of various ages and abilities arrive at the school unable to speak any English, but Greenfields emphasises servicing the individual’s needs and places each non-English- speaking student according to assessment of their individual literacy level, progressing them through globally-recognised qualifications such as the Preliminary English test (PET), Key English Test (KET), First Certificate in English (FCE), Advanced and Proficiency levels in Cambridge English.
All Year Round English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
As mentioned earlier, taking into account Greenfields high international intake and non-selectivity, students with EFL are encouraged to achieve as well as other students, with teachers aiming to take particular care to ensure that they understand as the lessons progress. Due to Greenfields focus on personal development and adding academic and social value to each individual student, their attainment cannot be measured in relation to performance against a particular age that is considered the norm. Long-term individual students from other countries study a Cambridge EFL curriculum to a suitable point before commencing other academic studies, even though this may affect the age at which they take recognised examinations. Short-term students can arrive at almost any point throughout the year and study English while also engaging in outings to British historical sites and other activities to deepen their understanding of English culture.
The students’ language development is observed not only in dedicated lessons but also in less formal situations, such as in small groups, and in activities where they have support so that they can participate with confidence. In some lessons, a support teacher is the catalyst for such activities, in others the class teacher’s planning helps by incorporating other ways of giving support, such as identifying subject-specific vocabulary, clearly written and pronounced.
Probably uniquely in the UK, Greenfields offers short- term and long-term EFL courses throughout the year. This means that students can arrive, singly or in groups, throughout the calendar year and learn English at a level appropriate to their individual needs.