With plans being announced for its new Science and Engineering development; lectures on ‘anti-fragile’ and ‘future proofing’ ; BA flight simulators and the pupils’ bank of laptops and i-pads; you’d think that Packwood is very much a school which takes the future seriously.
However “traditional ‘manners’ remain at the heart of everything we do at Packwood” according to Deputy Head, Roy Chambers. Children are encouraged to ‘give way’ to others at doors and in corridors, to respect adults, to be polite and courteous. The thank you card mentality is very much part of the Packwood Way even in the age of screen technology and digital communication.
Packwood is rightly renowned for its outstanding food, with former chef owner of Drapers’ Hall, Nigel Huxley, heading up the catering team. With a set code of table manners, an ethos of friendly quiet conversations and a teacher sitting at the head of every table interacting with the children, instilling ‘top manners’ is top of the menu. In breakfast club, dinner (Packwood have almost a hundred children staying every night) and in both Junior and Senior lunch sittings, the children have a choice of exciting tasty dishes and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own personal nutrition, wellbeing and behaviour.
The Headmaster’s Opening Assembly of 2019 was themed ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ and that theme chimes throughout the School’s Code of Conduct: ‘The Packwood Way’. Respect for adults; each other; property; self and the opportunity that a school like Packwood gives. The children heard that “Respect is a formula for life”. Packwood Pupils have a reputation for ‘self-confidence, resilience, and a positive attitude to learning’ so they are really listening and the formula seems to be working!
Top manners extend to the classroom environment too. With 197 children on roll, all in small class sizes, time is spent encouraging every child to try their best to be the best that they can be. Excited New Year chatter and all the ‘catching up’ falls silent in respect, when a class teacher arrives to begin the lesson and once in class, children stand up whenever an adult enters the room. As a none selective school, Packwood works hard ensuring that every child is challenged and supported through an exciting wide curriculum.
Manners of course help make the right impression in interviews, in the competitive job market and in life in general and the school is to receive further training in making the right ‘first impression’ next Friday from former City economist, now History & Politics Head at Packwood, Nick Weston. The school is rightly very proud of its pupils’ academic achievements and its record of scholarships and bursaries to top senior schools across the country. Increasingly senior school entrance includes interviews so pupils also receive extensive interview practice and preparation.
The school has a wide appeal to families from different backgrounds for its excellent all-round education and outstanding extracurricular provision. To see for yourself and get a taste of Packwood and their ‘top manners’, pupils welcome visitors to their sixty-six acre rural site on school open day, Saturday February 9.