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Principal's Welcome

A welcome message from Robert O’Brien, Principal of Blanchelande College,

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Principal's Welcome

Welcome to Blanchelande College.

Since becoming Principal here in 2016, many families have visited to discover what a Blanchelande education can offer.

Often, it’s our unrivalled rural setting in the heart of Guernsey, with acres of playing fields and onsite sports facilities. For others, it’s that we’re an established coeducational, all-through school (from 2½ – 18) on a single site with wraparound care and a bustling extra-curricular schedule, with a can-do attitude and the desire to serve busy families.

But what we offer goes deeper than first impressions, facilities and organisation – important though these are. I am often told that it is our distinctive ethos (character) that brings families to our door. In an age when the digital culture can create pressure to look and sound the same, we believe in being different.

Through our website I hope that you will be intrigued by the way we harness the psychological concept of the Hero’s Journey to engage, motivate and direct students. This begins with the simple idea of a ‘quest’ in the Infants and continues throughout the school through our unique Blanchelande Diploma; at Sixth Form, the diploma forms the basis of UCAS personal statements. If you can find a better framework for all-round personal development, please let me know!

Furthermore, the concept of heroic inquiry frames the learning journey for pupils at Blanchelande. This mode of learning is far richer than the memorisation of facts or the practice of skills; rather, it presents each child as being capable to coming to know and to understand who we are in the world. This can only be done through learning how to structure an inquiry and a gradual appreciation of how each of the subjects on the curriculum complement each other.

The Hero’s Journey is aligned with our Catholic identity: by no means are all our students themselves Catholic, but all at Blanchelande know that ‘we are not made for comfort, but for greatness’. That means that each pupil has been given a calling to pursue a noble goal, and therefore has also been given the unique gifts and talents to help them get there. At Blanchelande we know that ‘each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary’ and therefore each pupil is welcomed in their individuality. You can read more about our mission, aims and ethos here.

So, these are some of the reasons families choose Blanchelande College. When you visit us, you may find another reason why a Blanchelande education suits your unique son or daughter.

In our most recent inspection report (by ISI) the College was rated ‘excellent’ in all categories, including pupil achievement and personal development.

 

Excellent GCSE results

Our track record speaks for itself:

  • In 2019 Blanchelande achieved island-topping results, with 97% of students achieving five or more GCSE grades 9-4.
  • In 2020, the proportion of top grades (9-7) climbed for a fourth consecutive year, reaching 49% (from 42% in 2019, 38% in 2018, and 33% in 2017).
  • In 2021, the proportion of 9-7 grades increased further to 52%.

Our results demonstrate that Blanchelande’s commitment to pastoral care and all-round development leading to academic achievement is working.

 

Our Schools

Nursery (age 2 1/2 - 4)

In September 2021 we opened a new Nursery which optimises our onsite facilities and easy access to the natural world for outdoor learning. Please note that Nursery places are extremely limited and therefore registering well in advance is strongly recommended. Contact us to arrange a visit and a meeting with our Head of Infants, Alexa Yeoman.

Infants (age 4-7)

Blanchelande’s infant school is for boys and girls aged 4-7. Reception and Years 1 and 2 are housed around the Rosaire courtyard and from their classrooms they can spill out onto the decking for work and play. Just a minute away the Infants have their own forest learning area where a structured curriculum ensures that learning continues just as much as it does in the classroom. Each class has an LSA who supports the children and the class teacher. The Infant department is a place of security, joy, friendship and adventure. In 2019 the Infant department’s playground was completely renovated, and in 2020 the Reception classroom received a complete refit.

Juniors (age 8-11)

Blanchelande’s junior school is for boys and girls aged 8-11 (Years 3-6). Pupils benefit from small class sizes, an ambitious academic curriculum with specialist teachers, and plenty of sport and exercise. As well as the core curriculum, pupils study languages (French and Latin), music, history and art/design. The College’s ‘liberal arts’ curriculum teaches knowledge and culture (the ‘best that has been known and thought’) as an integrated, synchronized whole, fostering lateral thinking and cultural literacy. Our primary school pupils transfer automatically at 11+ to the senior school.

Seniors (age 11-16)

Blanchelande’s senior school is for boys and girls aged 11-16. Whether moving up from our prep school or joining Blanchelande from elsewhere, all pupils begin by consolidating core knowledge and skills and following a broad curriculum of arts, sciences, humanities, technical skills and sport. Blanchelande educates pupils to be intellectually accomplished but also to have wide interests and practical skills – including ICT, cookery and Design Technology – that will set them up for their lives ahead. There is also a wide range of extra-curricular activities for students to get involved with before, during and after school. Pupils select their GCSE options at the end of Year 9 and most work towards nine or ten GCSEs from Year 10. Furthermore, Blanchelande offers students in Year 10 the opportunity to undertake the Higher Project Qualification, supported by our superb Inquiry-Based Learning Department.

Sixth Form

Sixth Formers benefit from small, seminar style lessons and brand-new facilities including a stunning new Senior School Library, Sixth Form Common Room, seminar rooms and an A-Level Science laboratory and study area. Our Sixth Form is open to Blanchelande students moving up from Year 11 and to students from other schools seeking a bespoke learning experience and academic and pastoral support of the highest standard. Provision for the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is outstanding.

The Blanchelande Diploma

Spanning Juniors to Sixth Form, the Blanchelande diploma is a unique framework for all-round personal development. Pupils set their own targets at the beginning of the year and their progress is reflected in regular report updates to parents, sitting alongside academic progress and development. Our Infant school has its own related programme – The Infant Quest – suited to the age and development of the children.

 

Admissions

Boys and girls can join the College from their fourth birthday (into Reception) or at age 11 (into Year 7), at 16 (into Year 12), and into other year groups, where places are available. We have an open morning on the final Saturday of each September, but our Registrar, Sonia Hollowell, is always delighted to meet new families and show them round the school.

 

Tel 01481 232 744   Email hollowells@blanchelande.sch.gg

Blanchelande is Guernsey’s only fully coeducational, all-through, independent 2½-18 school, offering a rounded education, with small class sizes, engaging teachers and a rich curriculum, as well as a stunning rural setting in which to build strong friendships. Do pay us a visit.

 

Robert O’Brien
Principal, Blanchelande College