Absolutely Hertfordshire talks to Lara Péchard, head of St Margaret’s School in Bushey, about their offering from Nursery through to Sixth Form
How would you describe what St Margaret’s School offers?
St Margaret’s is a family school so there is an emphasis on working in the best interests of our pupils, really focusing on individuals and their progress, whilst working with parents to bring about the best pupil outcomes. We are big on the whole child, so you will see an impressive academic offer, a broad co-curricular programme and strong pastoral support.
You offer classes from Nursery to Sixth Form. How nice is it to see your pupils through the entirety of their school learning journey?
We aim to settle all children at all points of entry quickly and thoughtfully. With our new nursery it is wonderful to see the youngest children start their time here and it is always warming to see students who have been here flourish and succeed at A-level as they move beyond Sixth Form. There is a definite benefit of being here through the key transition stages as we can reassure and encourage at these points when it can often be harder for young people.
What would we see in a typical classroom?
Energy, laughter and productivity.
How has the new school year gone so far?
It has gone well. Our new enrichment programme has been well received by our pupils and parents.
Are you returning to a degree of ‘normality’ in everything you offer your pupils?
Like all schools the pandemic continues to keep us on our toes and we are focussed on returning safely and with fewer restrictions. Pupils definitely want more trips!
How have you helped pupils over the last 18 months?
We taught online from the first day of the first lockdown and we maintained continuity of learning and pastoral support. We actually, somehow, offered more co-curricular activities than we had before as we felt that there was a real need for our pupils and their families. We have also increased our communication and support for families including pastoral webinars, which have been well received.
Do you have big plans for the rest of the school year?
We are excited by a new music and performing space that opens at the end of this year. Our new head of sport, Mr Payne-Cooke, has some great plans to enhance our provision. We now have boys throughout our Junior School and this has started well this term – boys start throughout the Senior School next year, so there is lots to keep us busy.
Finally, can you tell us a surprising fact about St Margaret’s School…