"At Haileybury, building each pupil's confidence and helping them find and express their identity is key to our work. If pupils have a passion to learn a new skill, or develop an interest at school, we will support them. A vast array of co-curricular activities help them to explore their boundaries and acquire key skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives."
Angus Head Deputy Head (Co-curricular)
At Haileybury, we really believe that confidence is shaped by challenging personal fears or doubts, overcoming them and celebrating success.
It is only by confronting obstacles that boys and girls not only learn more about themselves but shape their own identity.
Central to this is the exploration and challenging of self beyond the academic curriculum – whether on the sports field, in the studio, in debate or elsewhere.
Of course, every child is different; we have worked hard to develop an enviable range of activities designed to challenge and educate in equal measure.
From Netball and Rugby to the Combined Cadet Force and the Model United Nations – and countless activities in between – there is something for everyone. The number of activities available is only limited by the imagination.
The biggest barrier facing any child is fear of the unknown – and (often) a reluctance to look stupid in front of their peers.
Many, for example, may not want to try a particular sport or simply think that they 'can't' do a particular activity.
At Haileybury, we encourage the view that all effort results in knowledge. Our view is that a core part of the learning experience is that each child only finds out what they're good at as a result of learning what they're bad at.
Pupils may not enjoy everything – but this is all part of the learning process. Through experiment and challenge, pupils learn greater self-awareness as well as greater understanding of others – both key elements of the Haileybury ethos.
But it is not just about the challenge, it is also about the emotional and personal rewards. Certainly, for every pupil, when success is achieved – no matter how it is achieved – celebration abounds.
In each boarding House, individual and team success is celebrated as a matter of course by pupils and teachers alike. Yet it is the spontaneity of joy which erupts at a match, at an event or in a competition which shows just how much the pupils enjoy overcoming the odds.
Indeed, staff at Haileybury will often say that one of the great pleasures of teaching is to see how much sheer joy erupts when teams win a match or when a pupil achieves a particular goal.
Everyone is happy for each other – celebration in itself breeds further confidence and a willingness to go further, shaping each pupil for a successful life ahead.
Yet we know that ideas change all the time and the limits of opportunity should only be constrained by the imagination.
At Haileybury, we think is important for each and every pupil never to be left wondering what might have been. So if pupils have ideas for things they want to do we actively encourage them to make it happen.
At Haileybury we empower each pupil to say to themselves, "Yes, I can do this. I can shape my world and make things happen."
The last word really belongs to Angus Head, Haileybury's Deputy Head (Co-curricular):
"My aim is for every child to challenge themselves in front of the public. Whether they go on stage, perform musically, present in a debate or represent the school at sport, I want every child to have had the confidence to be themselves in front of others and to say to themselves –I did that!"