"I found the atmosphere was calmer and friendlier."
"What I like best is the freedom."
"It's fun, like having a huge family."
"It wasn't as scary as I expected."
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
To choose a school is to make a decision based on information, emotion, and intuition. Several schools might meet your list of requirements. Many schools offer impressive facilities, a formidable history and excellent academic achievements. Why, then, do so many different families choose Bootham?
Bootham stands apart by treating each member of its community, in a practical application of Quaker principles, as equally important. Quakers celebrate ‘that of God in everyone’ and are ‘open to the light from whichever direction it may come’. So we welcome all faiths or none, encouraging our students to develop their own convictions while learning to respect those of others. ‘Bootham,’ a student claims, ‘has encouraged me to be myself, an individual, to speak up about my beliefs even if I am outnumbered.’ The success of the school depends on mutual trust and respect; relationships rather than regulations are what matter. Students grow up to become themselves, and we cherish the ideal of co-operative, collaborative endeavour.
If you walk down the corridor you’ll see students and staff relaxed in each others’ company and students mixing across the age-groups. It’s not unusual to find students and staff eating together in the Dining Hall. Parents join us for lunch on Saturdays and Old Scholars frequently drop by. A sixth former describes this sense of community as ‘a massive group of friends’.
There’s something more. The Independent Schools Inspectorate reports ‘A sense of calm and a quiet pace to the working of the school that enables individuals to flourish.’ Although our students are as boisterous as any others, and, indeed, enjoy a tolerance to behave as children, quietness is important at Bootham. Staff and students gather for morning Meeting, an occasion for quiet reflection in the Quaker manner. It’s a remarkable and greatly valued way to start the day, and one which students learn to appreciate – though they might find it initially surprising to find themselves in a school which is, for a few moments at least, voluntarily silent.
These values of co-operation, community, and quietness grow from the Quaker tradition, but they resonate with the modern world of work, where teams find solutions individuals can’t, where knowledge is seen as inter-related and not separate, and where values-driven responses earn our respect. It is such Quaker values that make Bootham completely right for today’s world. As one parent says, “The ethos here is entirely non-doctrinal. It makes the school highly attractive to anyone who would like their child to benefit from a moral outlook free from rigid dogma and to engage positively with the world around them.”
Religious Affiliation: Quaker.
Special Diets: Vegetarian, nut allergy.
Scholarships and Bursaries: Scholarships - Academic and Music at ages 11+, 13+ and 16+.
Entry Requirements: School Entrance Exam and/or Common Entrance Exam.
Facilities: Art and Design Studios and Workshops, Athletics Track, CDT Centre, Conference Facilities, Games Pitches, Health Centre, Music School, Observatory, Sixth Form Centre, Specialist Science and Geography Centre, Sports Hall, Squash Courts, Swimming Pool - indoor, Theatre.
Activities: Astronomy, Ballet/Dance, Candle Making, Chess, Choir, Computing/IT, Cookery, Cross Stitch, Debating/Public Speaking, Drama/Theatre Studies, Duke of Edinburgh, Fencing, Film/Video Club, Judo, Life Saving/First Aid, Orchestra/Band, Orienteering, Outdoor Pursuits, Photography, Pottery, Riding, Skiing, Trampolining, Young Enterprise.
Sports: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Cross Country, Fencing, Fitness Training, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Netball, Rounders, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Trampolining.