In September 2015, Luckley House School began the transition to becoming a coeducational school; admitting boys into Years 7 and 12. From 2017, we also admitted boys into Year 9.
Our aim has always been to enable our pupils to thrive in a secure and encouraging environment, equipping each one to be resourceful and resilient and ready to take on life’s many challenges and opportunities in a changing world. This will continue to be our aim and focus for boys and girls at Luckley; the move to coeducation will enable them to be fully prepared for today’s universities and beyond. We firmly believe that the move to coeducation will meet the School’s and families’ needs in the years ahead whilst preserving our much valued ethos, heritage and values within a thriving coeducational community.
The uniqueness of our school lies in the combination of ethos and size. Our focus on the individual brings an education that affirms talent and develops potential. Remaining small in a competitive market is challenging and prompts us to assess our position regularly. We listen to current parents, prospective parents and Heads of feeder schools, so that we understand what is good and valued about our school.
From this information we are able to make plans for the future, building on the best, always improving and looking for new opportunities. In all this we are focused on the provision of the best possible education for the pupils in our care.
Our research showed that there was a need in Berkshire for a small coeducational school, offering excellent academic teaching across the curriculum, and with outstanding provision in the creative and performing arts and sport. An extensive and varied co-curricular programme completes the profile of a truly all-round education for both boys and girls.
As with any strategic plan, there will be review points and adjustments made to ensure the best possible experience during our transition. We have benefited from the expertise of leading education consultants and a new Deputy Head (Academic) joined the leadership of the school in September 2015. We have also reviewed and learned from other independent schools who have successfully transitioned to coeducation.
The aim is for Luckley House School to grow to 300 pupils by 2020. As such, we will remain a small and close-knit school.
Although almost all the teaching staff have experience of teaching both boys and girls, this phased approach allows high quality and lasting strategies in teaching and learning to be developed and maintained.
As one of the compelling reasons for the move to coeducation is to enhance our Sixth Form, both in terms of curriculum and enrichment, the gradual introduction of boys into the school will allow us to take best advantage of the opportunities in modern education.
How we teach and, just as importantly, how pupils learn, are what our teachers care about and reflect on all the time. This is at the heart of all our training days when we spend time looking at best practice and sharing ideas. In the recent past we have looked at the work of leading educationalists and debated how they should apply to our work here at Luckley House School.
We firmly believe that every learner is an individual and in response each teacher aims to support the needs and talents of each person, not just the whole group. The curriculum at Luckley House School is broad and balanced and offers a wide range of options at both GCSE and A Level. This means that the range of subject choices is appealing to both girls and boys.
However, we are guarding against complacency by reviewing the fine details of how we teach each subject, with a view to ensure the engagement and enthusiasm of all pupils. In Technology and the Arts we have introduced topics in Graphic Design, Design Technology, with Engineering, alongside Computer Science.
The real effect is the broadening of opportunities for both boys and girls. In short, the boys are a great addition to our school community, and the opportunities on offer are getting better and better.
Our high-quality boarding accommodation enables us to offer boarding places to boys. The girls’ boarding house remains in its current location and the boys are accommodated above the Sixth Form Centre. Spacious, modern common rooms are available in both buildings.
A varied trips and activities programme caters for the interests of all pupils, which further enhances the experiences of all our boarders.
The flexibility in boarding options has been extended to boys and, as such, a vibrant boarding community is an exciting part of life at Luckley House School.
Our committed and visionary Board of Governors has allowed investment to ensure that the facilities at Luckley House School are truly outstanding. New building commenced in 2002, with the Jubilee Library, and has continued with the Music Centre, completed in 2010 and the Performing Arts Centre, opened at the beginning of 2016. Our next project is the re-development of the Sixth Form Centre to create a modern, dynamic learning environment for our students.
This is alongside extensive refurbishment resulting in state of the art Science Laboratories, a fully equipped Food Technology Suite, a new Textiles Technology room, modernised boarding facilities, a fully-sprung sports hall floor and a climbing wall.
The Art department has evolved to include a kiln, silkscreen printing, lino printing and photography, to be taught alongside the traditional skills of drawing and painting.
The combination of the Music Centre, with its cutting edge recording studio, together with the new Performing Arts Centre, will give pupils experience in the technical aspects of performance art.
Our extensive and attractive grounds, along with the well-equipped Sports Hall, open up a good range of sporting and outdoor pursuits. Along with the traditional team sports, such as football, hockey and netball, pupils can enjoy the zip wire and ‘Trim Trail’ in the woods, indoor climbing, trampolining, or simply using the fitness suite. These high-quality facilities afford unique experiences and further enhance the experiences of pupils beyond the curriculum.
In September 2017, we appointed a Head of Boys’ PE, Mr Matthew Humphrey, who is developing certain areas of sport which have resulted in a significant increase in the number and variety of fixtures played.
Who will be a typical Luckley pupil?
While we hesitate to describe a ‘typical’ pupil, our school is an outstanding learning environment for many different pupils with a variety of interests. We foster a desire for learning and encourage pupils to truly look for the things that make them buzz with enthusiasm.
A Luckley pupil may want to follow as many interests as possible, from playing a sport such as tennis, to joining the choir, being fascinated by art and discovering the fun of the Maths Team Challenge. They will be busy and thriving in all areas of school life.