At Brampton, students’ wellbeing is as important as academic achievement: A note from the Principal, Bernard Canetti
As we find ourselves once again within the exam period, we of course wish all our students the very best of luck. I feel it is also timely for me to say that, whilst academic achievement is crucial for our students, I believe that developing students’ self-belief, confidence and resiliance during their time at the College is equally critical.
The pressure on young people today is immense and we see an increasing number of students come to us suffering from stress and anxiety. More than ever, it’s therefore profoundly important that we create an environment where students feel that their teachers are concerned about them as individuals and believe in them. When students leave us feeling happy and confident then we know we have achieved success.
I’ve been following Sir Anthony Seldon , educational commentator and political author for a while, and recently attended a conference he organised on wellbeing. A leading head teacher for 20 years at various schools including Wellington College, and now running Britain’s leading independent university, he has been pressing government for ten years to take student wellbeing seriously – to the extent that he wants the government to adopt a Wellbeing League Table in Schools on a par with the Exam League Table. At a conference back in October, he commented, “The evidence is totally clear that well-being interventions enhance well-being and allow students and young people to cope best with problems…. schools that prioritise well-being, which includes challenging and stretching students, also build character and help them to perform better than those schools which are just exam factories.”
I couldn’t agree more, and it’s this ethos that has driven the format and delivery of the College’s education for many years. We work hard to ensure we provide a learning environment where students feel they are looked after, but also where they are encouraged to learn from challenging circumstances or setbacks. Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who provides support with both personal and academic matters. The College also has a Student Counsellor and an Educational Psychologist who are available for individual consultation should the need arise. In addition, the College runs a series of wellbeing workshops, involving team building activities which explore ways to develop a positive attitude and emotional resilience.
The feedback we get from our students, of which there are just a few examples below, is testament of the principles we adhere to and the culture we aim to create. Whilst we continue to maintain our position as the number one sixth form college in London, hearing comments such as these assures me that we really are doing the best for our students in probably the most important factors of all: self-confidence, happiness and a sense of real achievement.
Saul Trup is ‘leaving a different person’, heading to Sussex to study Geography and International Relations with ABB grades.
The small classes, individual attention and support were amazing. My teachers were great – I saw them regularly and they kept me focussed. Brampton is different because of the small classes. You build relationships with teachers and feel cared for, like teachers genuinely have your best interests at heart. In terms of my work ethic, confidence and self-belief, I am leaving a different person. Before Brampton, I never really experienced success. But Brampton is the best for giving you motivation to do well and believe in yourself.”
Sarah Weston achieved AAA and is leaving Brampton ‘a very happy person’!
My experience of Brampton has been amazing, an incredible experience. They teach you to believe in yourself and not to give up. As a result, I’m leaving a different person. I’m armed for university, knowing I can achieve as long as I work for it and don’t give up. I’d definitely recommend Brampton to someone considering coming here. I’m leaving a very happy person!”
Matan Hamburger transferred to Brampton from another school and has achieved outstanding grades of A*A*A*A*. He comments,
I had done my AS levels at another school and felt that I needed more support to achieve my goals. I think it is this support that makes Brampton stand out as a different type of sixth form college. The constant availability of teachers at College, as well as the care the staff put into the students, provides the impetus for the motivation and resulting success of the students.”
Meera Mawkin, a student at Brampton who obtained a place at King’s College London, comments
I was scared about starting a new school but now that I am at the end of the journey, I will never look back. Brampton taught me that if you never struggle, you don’t feel like you have achieved something. If you don’t get low grades, you don’t appreciate the high grades and that the main purpose of being in school is to access help and learn. That’s what makes Brampton so unique – it doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what grades you started with or the name of your previous school, they care about your happiness – they care about you. Thank you Brampton for inspiring and motivating me.”