We are invariably asked the question about class size. Our view is that we have made a bogey of this in our society, though we do understand why with regard to other teaching contexts. In the independent sector, in a school like ours, we do not think it an issue. We undertake always to provide in the College the best possible learning experience, founded on the best possible teaching experience. So we focus on high quality teaching rather than on class size. We believe excellent teachers can cope with whatever reasonable numbers come their way. We have such teachers and so do not even enter into arguments over one or two more or less pupils in classes. Having said that, we ensure our class sizes are appropriate for effective teaching and for the size of our classrooms, a factor sometimes ignored in the general debate.
We lay two emphases: on learning and on appropriate staff structure.
Learning is the ultimate aim and so we give prior concern to ensuing our pupils are in an academic environment that nurtures them, on the one hand, but demands of them, on the other. We insist on diligence, the development of problem solving skills and independent thinking. These principles influence our teaching and examining styles. We find them matched in the demands of the IEB. Our pupils are encouraged to have opinions and to express them, to ask questions, to research answers and to analyse with discernment what others say.
Our staff structure ensures we are well able achieve these goals. We do not work with a standard ratio and are thus able to staff appropriately and differently in the various subjects. So, for example, we have a more favourable supply of Mathematics teachers than we have for other subjects because we believe this necessary in that instance. Our results tell of our success in teaching as we do.