Adele moved to the UK with her family from Australia in 2016. She has four children – her two youngest boys are currently at Reed’s having started in the First Form (Year 7) and her two older daughters are now at university after attending Reed’s in the Sixth Form. One is studying Civil Engineering at the University of Edinburgh and the other Human Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham.
Why did you select Reed's School for your children's education?
We arrived from Australia 2 years before our oldest son began at Reed’s. We looked at many schools before making our decision and whilst they were all impressive, what stood out about Reed’s was the size of the school and the beautiful grounds. Our son was sporty, so this had to be a priority. Reed’s has incredible sport facilities, and the Cricket Centre was a huge draw. What was most important to us was to choose a school that was big enough for him to be challenged, yet had a strong sense of community and a nurturing feel, especially having just moved from Australia.
Could you share your thoughts on the teaching at Reed's?
The first word that comes to mind when we reflect on the teaching at Reed’s is ‘passion’. Our daughters, whilst in the Sixth Form, would often comment on how passionate their teachers were and this simply rubs off on the students. The House system and Tutor groups act as an important connector between the teacher, parent, and student. This has allowed us to have open communication with the Tutors which has been so helpful over the years. As parents, we have been so impressed with the time and dedication of many of the teachers, particularly throughout the GSCE and A Level period. In what is a stressful time, we found the teachers to be supportive and encouraging of our children to do their best but at the same time carefully balancing student wellbeing whilst being caring and compassionate.
Have any of the teachers at Reed's played a role in inspiring your children’s learning?
All the teachers at Reed’s have had a significant impact on the development of our children. However, Mr Ha has shown unwavering dedication and commitment throughout. Having 3 children in Blathwayt House, we have consistently witnessed the enthusiasm he brings to his role as Head of Blathwayt. He makes the House events and assemblies as enjoyable as possible; these have often been our children’s favourite memories at Reed’s. Mr Irving kindly hosted many workshops and provided resources to our daughter and other students to help prepare them for their A Level Biology exam. He helped build confidence in our daughter by encouraging her and instilling a sense faith in her ability. Mr Willey’s enthusiasm for teaching has encouraged our children to step out of their comfort zone and get involved in the Music Department, which has been a joy to see. Mr Lees & Mr Ha helped our daughters to progress into confident public speakers by providing them with the opportunity to join Toastmasters – a club which teaches public speaking skills and will no doubt enhance their ability personally and professionally in years to come. Mr Farmer has been a guiding influence on our eldest son and has helped inspire him to explore his creative side through Art. His encouragement and patience and the extra assistance offered in his spare time has helped our sons confidence considerably - Matt has also enjoyed the rugby chat/banter too!
Is there any aspect of your time at Reed's that has been pleasantly surprising?
The most surprising thing about Reed’s is how strong the sense of community is. Although it sounds cliché, it really has a ‘family feel’. As it’s a small boarding school and many teachers live on site, we often see the teachers wandering around with their young families in the evenings and on the weekends watching the sport matches which is so heart-warming. What has also been surprising is all the sporting opportunities on offer. One of the many highlights of Sixth Form for our daughters was the sport provided which was a wonderful release from the stress of exams. Thanks to Mrs Balls and her passion for women in sport, our daughters have continued their sporting aspirations at University. Our eldest son had no hockey experience prior to starting at Reed’s, with the high level of coaching offered over the years it has been a privilege to watch him progress. With expert coaching from the hockey department he was able to play his first match for the 1st XI’s in the Fifth Form (Year 11) which he is really proud of.
If a fellow parent was contemplating Reed's School for their child, what advice or insights would you offer?
The best advice I would suggest is to encourage your child to take advantage of all the countless opportunities on offer – whether it be through clubs, extra-curricular activities, sport or school trips. There is so much opportunity for your children to step outside their comfort zone and try new things in a positive and encouraging environment.
Mr Hoskins is a wonderful Headmaster, he is often present at sports matches, especially on Saturdays, and takes a special interest. What has impressed us is that he takes the time to get to know the students personally, including all the girls who join at Sixth Form. He is extremely supportive of them all and you get a real sense that he is determined the ensure that everyone has a wonderful experience at Reed’s.