Focus groups provide real insight into the transition from Prep to College
We have recently conducted focus groups with our Third Form (Year 9) pupils to discover what life is really like at our co-educational independent school, having made the transition from Cheltenham Prep, and at the same time uncovering what it is like to be a Day Pupil in a predominantly boarding environment.
The results from the focus groups, which were conducted with both 13-year-old girls and boys from Third Form, who had attended Cheltenham Prep and were now in their first year of College, spoke for themselves. Listen to the interviews below.
Queen's Focus Group
Southwood Focus Group
The staff do all they can to make the move from Prep to College as seamless as possible, as Charlotte Maddison (3rd, Q) enthused, “I already felt part of the community from meeting and talking to College teachers before I moved.” While pupil Georgie Mclaren (3rd, Q) added, “The Prep helped you prepare academically but also mentally too.”
At College, Day Pupils who are boys belong to Southwood. That old cliché home from home is paramount as the pupils spoke about a tight-knit community, how older students within the house felt like older brothers, how the House was actually a home where close friends for life were made and where none of the pupils felt like they were missing out by not boarding.
Queen's, the girls’ Day House, equipped with its own adorable House kitten, was held in extremely high regard, as all the girls echoed how it felt like one big ‘cosy’ family. Georgie said, ”We have lots of family events, and socialise with all the years.” Despite being Day Pupils at a school with a full boarding ethos, Tabitha Barnes (3rd, Q) enthused, “Some people think that we don’t get involved in as many things as the boarders do, but we can stay late and overnight sometimes, so it is not a massive split.” The girls enthused at how they had made friends across all Houses and through all year groups.
When asked what the boys would like College to do for them, the answers were unanimous in preparing them for life ahead, equipping them with vital life skills and helping them to excel in whatever they are best at. Echoed by the girls who are looking forward to College preparing them for their careers ahead.
They also took note of what they felt, they themselves should be doing for College, as pupil Will Buttress (3rd, S) said, “We need to put everything into it, to get the best out of it.” As Louis Hillman-Cooper (3rd, S) reiterated, “When given opportunities we should take them.” While the girls repeated similar trains of thought such as, doing the best they can, working hard, not holding back, involving themselves and saying yes to all opportunities; the types of opportunities that both Cheltenham Prep and Cheltenham College present to their pupils, which allow them to excel in every way possible.