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View from the Top: Laura Lamont on nurturing talent in prep schools

For this week's View from the Top, we've handed over to Laura Lamont, head of Queen's College Prep School. Below, Laura explains why it is so important for children's passions and talents to be encouraged and celebrated from a young age...

It’s common knowledge among discerning parents that a child’s time at prep school is not measured merely by attainment and effort, but in how successfully children are prepared for the next stage of their life. A prep school should equip its pupils with so much more than an understanding of fractions and French. By the time a child leaves their prep school, they should be confident of their unique talents, and have the courage to strive to improve in less triumphant disciplines.

A good prep school will encourage children to explore their interests and passions, whether on the stage, the sports field or in the art room. A great prep school will foster an atmosphere where every child’s unique talent is discovered, enjoyed and cultivated with care and attention. For example, at QCPS we recently launched our ‘Queen’s Colours’ programme, which invites our girls to earn badges for one of six co-curricular foci. The much sought-after pins are awarded after a full term of hard work in a field of interest covering languages, sport, drama, dance, sciences and music. The programme ensures that every girl who wishes to participate is celebrated and recognised for a possible hidden or much enjoyed talent.

Once talent has been discovered, children must be supported to develop and hone their abilities instilling in them crucial life skills. The small class sizes found in most independent schools enable dedicated and highly trained teachers to mentor their pupils, allowing them to identify and nurture unique strengths, while fostering a culture of excellence and most importantly, encouragement.

Ultimately, by the time children reach the end of their prep school career, they should have been given every opportunity to become the best version of themselves through the provision of a holistic education, both in and outside of the classroom. Growing their confidence and resilience equips children for life beyond school. Embracing all that prep schools have to offer truly provides pupils with the opportunities to shine bright and reach their full potential, while hopefully also having a lot of fun along the way!