All to play for

Headmaster Dominic Findlay talks to Independent Education Today about rebranding Langley School

Tell us a little about Langley Prep and Senior Schools.

Langley Senior School and Langley Preparatory School are inspirational places for children to experience. We pride ourselves in providing an exceptional all-round education for girls and boys aged two to 18. Our nursery is well equipped and has a large secure outside learning environment catering for children aged two to four years.

In our Prep School, English, mathematics, science and computing form the core of the curriculum and from year three subject specialists teach design technology, art, drama, French, music and humanities. Hockey, football, rugby, netball, cricket, rounders, athletics and cross country are the main sports and extracurricular clubs allow our pupils to take part in other activities such as tennis, music, dance, drama, archery and golf. Other cerebral and creative clubs are also on offer for those who prefer music, art, drama, history and politics.

The Senior School builds on the Prep School experience by introducing further specialist input which allows our children to excel in sports, the performing arts, design and debating alongside a tailored curriculum leading to GCSEs and A levels.

Also, in our Senior School, children can board between the ages of 10 and 19. There are some weekly boarders who live relatively locally, but many of the students are full boarders – some of whom come from different parts of the world including the Far East and Africa as well as Europe. It makes for a rich and culturally diverse population with much to give and receive.

Extra-curricular clubs include archery, golf, drama and music

How has your recent re-branding exercise benefited the schools?

With Philip Oldroyd, the headmaster of the Prep School, I’ve been working to build the Langley brand and values: Langley School is passionate about sport and serious about education. A key part of this is to continue driving academic standards to compete with the best and allow opportunities for excellence in music and the arts combined with a passion for sport. 

It was a great moment for us to go public regarding the sporting partnerships that we had been working on and to actually make the direction that the school is going more official. We have had amazing feedback since we embraced the sporting side of our identity and feel that we have so much further to go; it is a very exhilarating time for us.

How do sport and expressive arts play a part in maintaining the school’s identity?

Langley School has always emphasized the importance of a rounded education and in response to this we have offered a fantastic extracurricular timetable, brilliant sports opportunities and have always embraced the arts in addition to the core academic subjects. Our identity is built on this ‘all round’ approach and our ability to help individuals to reach their potential whether it is in the classroom or on the sports field. The school has recently become an Artsmark School, a status awarded by The Art’s Council England in recognition of the quality and range of our art, music and drama provision.

The academies allow students to have access to fantastic sports coaching, facilities and opportunity

What sporting partnerships do the schools have in place?

We have top-level sports coaches such as Darren Eadie (former professional footballer with Norwich City and Leicester City), Tim Malone (Leicester Tigers and England group rugby coach) and Ben Wright (Harleston Magpies player/coach and England group hockey coach), who work with all age groups across both schools no matter what level of ability. All of our children benefit from our sporting partnerships and we are proud of the relationships that we have forged with Norwich City Football Club, Leicester Tigers Academy, British Canoeing, Harleston Magpies HC, Brooke Cricket Club and Norfolk Polo Club. 

In addition to this we are extremely pleased to have in place four sports academies: kayaking, polo, hockey and football. The academies allow students to have access to fantastic sports coaching, facilities and opportunities as well as excellent teaching and support inside the classroom.

What are your future plans for the school?

We will continue with our commitment to fulfilling students’ academic potential via small class sizes, flexible curriculums and our outstanding facilities – which fits superbly with allowing our sports men and women to reach their goals both individually and in teams.

We are currently concentrating much of our efforts on developing hockey and football and are particularly concentrating on our provision for girls. We are also planning to add gymnastics to the wide range of sports we already offer. In addition, discussions are taking place regarding some very exciting new sports facilities … we certainly have a lot of ideas and we are always working on new projects!

Dominic Findlay is headmaster of Langley School W: www.langleyschool.co.uk 

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