Founded by the Reverend Dr Andrew Reed in 1813, Reed’s was originally established to care for children who had lost the support of one or both parents in the Napoleonic Wars. Much has changed over the last 200 years, including moving from the East End of London to our 40-acre site in Cobham. However, unwavering over that time and central to Reed’s Christian ethos, has been the integrity of our Founder’s vision, that philanthropy and education have the power to transform the lives of children. To this day we offer bursaries to pupils who have lost the support of one or both parents.
Andrew Reed’s legacy is a powerful one and his innovative approach to education continues as we seek to inspire our pupils to provide a rich and dynamic learning experience that allows all to flourish, to care for one another and to become the well-rounded individuals we are so proud of.
For children to thrive both academically and socially they need to feel safe and happy, to be shown and to show compassion to those around them, to feel confident in their own abilities and have the self-esteem to express their own distinctive individuality. It is this simple concept that is central and fundamental to everything we do at Reed’s. Exceptional care for the individual and a focus on the spiritual well-being of all our pupils are the foundations on which each child grows and flourishes.
The Deputy Head (Pastoral) oversees the pastoral system while the Housemaster, along with a team of tutors, is responsible for overseeing the development of each and every individual. In addition, the School Doctor, counsellor, medical team and resident Chaplain ensure that our pupils are genuinely cared for physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Great teaching is not about merely imparting information; that is a given. It is about inspiring and motivating young people and crucially -and this is the art of teaching -it is about striking a unique rapport with each and every pupil. We want our pupils to have a lifelong love of learning, to always be curious, not to accept what they are told, but to question, think, reflect and decide. At Reed’s we have a culture of innovative, dynamic and progressive teaching which ensures that our pupils learn because they are excited, engaged and, like their teachers, passionate about their interests.
Our broad curriculum supports this aim with a particularly extensive range of subjects at GCSE and A Level and indeed throughout the school including, for example, our pioneering FutureTech or STEM lessons (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Educational trips, academic societies, visiting speakers and leadership training all combine to develop our pupils’ interpersonal skills and to prepare them for the careers of the future, many of which do not yet exist.
We are immensely proud of how our pupils realise their full potential both in and out of the classroom. We recognize that all children are unique and have a distinct blend of talents and interests.
Our teachers seek not only to amplify the skills our pupils already possess, whether that is in sport, music, drama or the arts, but to help them find interests and talents they did not know they had. This discovery of new abilities invariably means being challenged - for example learning a musical instrument but, through the extensive programme of clubs, societies and co-curricular opportunities our pupils are exposed to, they appreciate that learning is a dynamic process which requires and develops resilience.
As young people grow and develop so do the expectations we have of them. We believe passionately that our pupils should feel a sense of responsibility to their peers, to the school, to the community and to society in general.
All Upper Sixth pupils at Reed’s are prefects and this is because we expect them to set an example and shape the ethos of the school. They do this successfully in numerous ways, acting as student mentors for the younger pupils, as well as taking the lead in many House activities to raise money for their chosen charities. The notion of responsibility is developed from an early age with leadership training in the Second and Fourth Forms and the existence of Lower School prefects, all of which serve to develop our pupils’ character.
We believe that it is our duty to prepare Reed’s pupils for the demands of the modern world and also to inspire in them a desire to shape it for the better.
Our pupils are exposed to an exhilarating array of opportunities during their time at Reed’s. Whether it is working with our partner charity in the townships of South Africa or speaking at the Toastmasters public speaking society; whether as an officer in the Combined Cadet Force or trekking across the Brecon Beacons for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh scheme, we believe that the richness of our pupils’ educational experiences develops an independence that cannot be taught.
The excellent Higher Education and Careers advice and support our pupils receive means that, whether it be Medical or Art School, engineering or economics, the top universities in the UK or the USA, they will be confident that the choices they make as part of their own unique journeys will be informed and exciting.
In return, we will be confident that we have provided the platform for our pupils to leave Reed’s as secure, self-assured men and women who will continue to build on the values we have instilled and who will always be Reedonians.