Source: St Lawrence College
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St Lawrence College: Preparing young adults for a lifetime of success

A supportive, nurturing environment that fosters personal growth can do wonders for a young adult — stroll the campuses of esteemed institutions for proof. At top-ranking universities like the University of Cambridge, University College London, the University of Manchester, and the University of Bath; you’ll find St Lawrence College graduates ready to share how their school got them where they are today. Several students are currently in the midst of producing university applications stellar enough to join them. Of course, they have their college’s full support.

“There have been many opportunities for us to go to career fairs, such as one at Kent University,” confirms student Nora. “Our teachers help us with our personal statements and genuinely want the best for us,” adds student Elen. “They’re very keen on us getting our statements in early so they can go through it and help us on a second or third draft — as many as necessary to help us get into the best universities.”

The process differs for each learner. After all, what works well for one might not be the most suitable for the other. Assistant Head of Pastoral, Eleanor Matthews, plays a massive role in ensuring students discover what they want to do in life and leave the school with the tools needed to achieve just that —- and more. She believes gone are the days when students were expected to excel in just one discipline.

“The days of following a linear career path are over. We need to make sure our young people have the skills, confidence and adaptability to make the most of the career opportunities they will come across during their lives, whether that be stepping into a promotion or creating and originating a job or role that doesn’t yet exist,” she explains.

“I am particularly passionate about developing initiatives to support pupils with their well-being as research shows how this positively impacts academic outcomes and success in life at university and beyond,” she says.

Most essential life skills students must hone to thrive are gained during their time at the Senior School, when they take on a wide curriculum that offers a mix of GCSEs and IGCSEs. The combination was innovated to build breadth and a broad foundation of knowledge for future study.

“We build on the skills embedded into our Key Stage 3 curriculum with an increased focus on time management, analysis, reflection and self-regulation,” explains Matthews. “All of this links to our approach as a High Performance Learning school where we openly and explicitly teach advanced cognitive processes alongside character elements related to values, attitudes and attributes.”

During their second year in Senior School, students begin taking charge. This period is reserved to spark a sense of accountability and responsibility within them. However, guidance is still offered through clinics and supervised study periods — both are offered more abundantly at this stage to prepare fifth-formers for Sixth Form life, where A level courses are introduced.

Source: St Lawrence College

Members of the College community go above and beyond to ensure that every student’s well-being is their top-priority. Source: St Lawrence College

In Years 12 and 13, most pupils study three or four A level subjects, and some additionally take the Extended Project Qualification. English Language and Mathematics courses are available for those who do not have GCSE-level qualifications in these subjects. While most schools stop there, St Lawrence College takes it up a notch by offering a one-year certificate and two-year diploma by the London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) — qualifications designed to nurture independent learning skills on a greater scale.

“The LIBF courses dive into personal finance and how the government helps finance things for you as well,” explains student Felicity, who plans on being an entrepreneur one day. “We also learn about mortgages, savings accounts, bank accounts, pensions, and everything basically. It’s very useful in planning for the future.”

It’s clear a day in the life of a sixth former at St Lawrence College is packed with productivity, but that doesn’t make it any less holistic.

“The link between strong academic performance and positive well-being is well documented, and we work hard to ensure that our pupils have excellent support pastorally and academically,” affirms Matthews. She and her team exhaust all efforts to ensure each student has a “safe space” to explore techniques, approaches and strategies that work for them. Furthermore, all members of the pastoral team are trained Youth Mental Health First Aiders who are experts in providing unwavering support.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to understand why St Lawrence College was listed in Fortune’s lineup of the World’s Leading Boarding Schools in 2023. Convinced? Click here to begin the application process, and your child will be well on their way to defining what success means to them.

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