Queen Elizabeth School

Our Values

QES is founded on ten Core Values which underpin and inform the life and work of our community.

These Values are at the heart of our school and we use every opportunity to celebrate them with governors, pupils, parents and staff; they are fundamental to our school ethos and culture.

Respecting the past and its traditions

The first QES students lived in a great age of Discovery – the world of Shakespeare and Raleigh. At key stages in their time with us, we remind students that they are the latest in a great continuum stretching back through centuries. We remind them that the exciting and unpredictable world of the future with all its opportunities is founded upon the inestimable contributions of those who have preceded them. We encourage them to understand and feel their roots, to acquire stability in a frenetic, fast-changing and uncertain world.

The QES values are simple and timeless. They reach into the Past and they provide the means for navigating the Future.

Working hard and doing your best

Some QES students leave after five years to take on a variety of apprenticeships; some go off to FE Colleges and many will follow vocational pathways in QEStudio from Year 10. The majority stay on into QES 6th Form and many get places at Oxbridge Colleges, music colleges and our most prestigious universities in the UK and abroad. We want all to have the QES experience together and to learn from and about each other. We respect everyone as an individual with differing interests, abilities and inclinations, and we make the same basic demand of all QES students that they work hard and do their best to fulfil their potential to the highest standard. And we don’t relent on that demand!

However, we make sure that an individual is on the right courses for them by knowing each student well, offering specialist support and advice at key times and by offering a staggering array of opportunities at QES, QEStudio and at local colleges.

Ad we don’t just expect the best in terms of academic work. We look for heart and soul commitment in every aspect of QES life and we celebrate achievement in all its guises.

Being decent to others

Probably the most fundamental of the QES values; the one we live our lives by. Perhaps surprisingly, mention of ‘school of rules’ at QES is rare. When things go well, we discuss how the Values have helped. When things go less well, we take time to show how adherence to a Value would have avoided a situation. ‘Being decent to others’ is just how we set out to be each day. It is our code. It really is that simple …and effective.

Being polite, friendly and courteous

Visitors to QES often comment on the ‘warm atmosphere’ and on the friendly relationships which are the norm. There is a very evident sense of mutual respect and affection in classrooms and labs, in workshops and studios, on pitches and in corridors.

The thing is, we’re all in it together and everyone at all levels is very conscious that our community is what we collectively make it. Mutually supportive and encouraging is the way we are everyday. There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’; there is just QES.

Looking out for others

QES is about everyone in the community hereabouts. it isn’t just about the clever or the well-off or one particular gender or about only those who have a certain set of beliefs. It’s about ensuring everyone feels they matter, are valued, are worth something, have potential. 

It’s about developing people who can get on with other including other who are different. It’s about creating people for the world of the 21st century. 

Some students have troubled lives; some are vulnerable; some veer towards dangers; some need more guidance than others. At QES, we all know to look around us and see who needs care, help support, or whose behaviour is unsafe. And we know that there will always be someone to tell, someone who will intervene subtly and sensitively, someone who won’t give up. 

It’s a very important aspect of QES – ‘Care’ for the 21st Century. Some, of course, sail through the happiest of childhoods, their teenage years untroubled and fulfilled. But they see what it means to be helped and supported and they see that giving up on individuals less fortunate is not an option. 

Getting involved

We want QES students to take their place in the world. We want them to be active citizens, involved in their communities, making a contribution, fulfilling their potential. And we want to develop enthusiasms and passion to enrich their lives.

Opportunities for ‘getting involved’ abound. And, of course there are the clubs and activities to suit all tastes – in sport and the arts, academic and social, charity and the outdoors. There’s something to suit everyone; to expand horizons, to promote growth and development and provide challenge. And whether it’s simply to foster confidence in the timid soul or nature a talent of national standard, the Staff at QES pledge hour and hours of their time to make it happen….which helps explain the quality of those QES relationships.

The capacity of our students for leadership is limitless and they help us run the school. People often joke that we should stand aside and just let them get on with it! And, in truth, with a little help, support, advice and encouragement to older students are more than capable.

Respecting the environment

The landscape around QES is beautiful and enriching, timeless and inspiring. It helps promote a love and respect for the planet and for nature. 

The QES site sits well within its context. It has a pleasant, open, campus feel with towering trees and picturesque cricket pitch, landscaped courtyards and buzzing piazza, beautiful gardens and striking amphitheatre providing a calm, orderly and civilised setting in which young people can grow and develop safely. 

Building are small-scale, attractive and characterful; well-maintained, colourful, light and bright. Artwork is evident everywhere. Students are proud of their school and fond of its spaces. They respect and care for their environment. 

It is an environment designed to be stimulating, to make people feel valued, to encourage people to want to learn. 

Thinking of others less fortunate

Our students know they are lucky and like many young people they are instinctively compassionate. 

Some whether it is through Amnesty or the endless fundraising events to brighten our year or the inspiring support of our orphanage in Malawi, the focus is unremittingly on those less prosperous, less materially advantaged, apparently less fortunate. 

At QES we try to teach our students both to be grateful for what they have and to have the confidence to get out there an change their world for the better. And often they learn a valuable lesson: that there are people in their world with less than them who in terms of happiness and contentment, appear to have more. 

Encouraging global citizenship

We pride ourselves on producing tolerant, flexible, broadminded young people who see diversity and difference as something to celebrate rather than to fear. 

And whether a QES student eventually works on the land hereabouts in the South Lakeland or runs an aid agency on another continent, there is an understanding that the world matters, is intriguing, is there to be explored and understood, that there are global connections everywhere in our lives. 

As a rural school, QES is the centre of our students’ lives, a firm foundation from which to learn new languages, to journey to far-flung places, to plan gap years in exotic locations and often to aspire with staggering confidence to spend working lives on every continent among all types of people. 

There’s a great world out there and we teach our students to relish its challenges. 

Remembering that life is more than money and material things

While QES is not a Faith school, it is a school which lives by a set of timeless values which would sit comfortably with any of the world’s great religions. And while it is not a denominational school, it is a community which nurtures and engenders the spiritual dimension. 

While we understand the importance of wealth creation and want our students to live prosperous and comfortable lives and to be economically independent we want them to understand also that what is truly important cannot be bought and that material acquisition doesn’t guarantee happiness or fulfilment. 

Therefore, thinking about the nature of belief and the value and meaning of human life is something we try to encourage in our students. And in demonstrating in our daily community life the fundamental importance of human relationships and respect for the individual, we aim to shape future lives which have depth and meaning. 

QES students enjoy a ‘moral’ education in the most profound sense of the word and grow up developing a bearing to help them navigate their journey through life. 

And when they leave us they invariably say the most important part of the QES education is the values….