The Surbiton High School Podcast
By Surbiton High School
The Surbiton High School PodcastOct 27, 2022
ep. 41 Instrumental Music at Surbiton High School
In this episode, we sit down with Richard Hammond-Hall, Head of Instrumental Music, and learn about how music lessons and ensembles work at Surbiton High School. In any given week, there are hundreds of one-to-one music lessons from dozens of instrument teachers, not to mention carefully selected and arranged ensembles and choirs that rehearse and perform the year round. The school also offers a Rare Instrument Scheme which sees lessons on less commonly played instruments, like the viola and the organ, being sponsored for students who already show talent in their main instrument.
ep. 40 Meet the Music Department
In this episode, we sit down with Director of Music, Vikki Newman, and talk about all the things that make our Music Department special, from our verticalisation of choirs and ensembles to our Rare Instrument Scheme. All music in this episode is performed by Surbiton High students and was recorded live on site.
ep. 39 - A little clarinet…
Ep. 38 Excellence Series: Meeting Governor, Melissa Geiger
ep. 37 Getting to know each other on the Year 7 residential
ep. 36 Excellence Series: Getting the basics right (Compliance, Health & Safety)
Continuing our Excellence Series, following our 'Excellent in all Areas' verdict from ISI, Spring 2023, in this episode we talk with Charlotte Demetz, Assistant Principal for Compliance, Health & Safety, about getting the basics right behind the scenes at Surbiton High School.
ep. 35 Empire Day Project - Experiential and Immersive Learning on an enormous scale
In this episode, we let you inside one of the most exciting pedagogical experiments of 2022-23. A year in the making, The Empire Day Project, is part of Director of Drama and Dance, Chris Griffin's, 'My Place in the World: Past, Present and Future' project which has been running with Year 8 since September.
The idea of the project is to look at lessons from the past and present in order to help students shape their conception of a bright future. The Empire Day Project is an experiential and immersive learning experience that that sees 162 Year 8 students, spend a day and a half in the Surbiton Assembly Rooms, which has had every room transformed into an interactive learning environment to help them understand the impact of the British Empire in a three dimensional way.
Some rooms teach students about the spice trade, other rooms teach about the slave trade; in some rooms there are Year 12 students dressed up as historical figures whom students can ask questions about the British Empire; in other rooms, students scan QR codes attached to vintage artifacts in order to teach themselves about the past. The idea is to create an environment for students to independently learn and explore the history of the British Empire, exploring both the successes and the shortcomings of the empire, the idea being to help students understand exactly what has elevated the UK to the status and economic power it has today, and to give students a firm historical platform in order to make decisions about what will happen tomorrow.
ep. 34 Sports Day 2023 - Fun in the sun and new school record for high jump
In this episode, we give you a quick look at what it's like to be at a Surbiton High School Sports Day. You'll hear from House Leaders, Heads of House, veteran Year 12s and rookie Year 7s at their first Sports Day.
ep. 33 Excellence Series: Pupil Development and Well-being
ep. 32 Excellence Series: What makes excellent Learning & Teaching…and where does AI fit in to it?
ep. 31 Excellence Series: What makes an excellent Sixth Form?
In Spring 2023, Surbiton High School achieved 'Excellent in all areas' in its ISI inspection. In the Excellence Series, we give you a look behind the scenes at the different departments and processes that make our school one of the most successful Independent schools in the UK. In this episode, we look at what makes an excellent Sixth Form. We talk with Director of Sixth Form, Jon Owen, about the different processes put in place to ensure excellence both inside and outside of the classroom, and we hear from the 2022-23 Student Leadership Team about their experience of attending Surbiton High School and what it feels like to be part of such a great Sixth Form.
ep. 30 Excellence Series: What Makes Our School Excellent? With Rebecca Glover and Matt Close
In Spring 2023, The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) visited Surbiton High School and awarded it 'Excellent in all areas'. In this 'Excellence Series' we take you behind the scenes of one of the most successful schools in the country in order to give you an insight into the hard work that goes into making every day excellent here at Surbiton High School. In this first episode, we start and the top by talking to Principal Rebecca Glover and Senior Vice Principal Matt Close about what makes Surbiton High School such a special place.
ep. 29 Meet the Chair of the Local Governing Body - Ade McKeon
In this episode, we sit down with Ade McKeon, the Chair of the Local Governing Body. A career business executive and CEO, Ade has worked across some of the biggest UK brands in the food and drinks industry with extensive experience in P&L Management and a proven track record of improving financial performance with innovative operational processes, systems and structures. Ade talks us through the responsibilities of being a governor, what his role is as the Chair of the Local Governing Body, as well as responding to our 2023 ISI report 'excellent in all areas'.
ep. 28 Out on a Duke of Edinburgh Expedition with Year 10
Grab your gaiters! In this episode, we go on a trek across the Surrey Hills with some Y10 students as they take part in a training weekend for DofE. They have to learn how to navigate using a map, use teamwork to get across muddy fields, set up their tents, cook a substantial meal on a camping stove and keep a cool head when things don't go according to plan. We have interviews with staff who've been involved with DofE for several decades, and talk with students about what motivates them and what they enjoy most about DofE.
ep. 27 Pop Talks: Revision Slam - 26th April
In this episode, we talk with Stuart Bird, Head of Outreach, about the next live online episode of Pop Talks. With exam season approaching like a bullet train, POP! Talks is back with Revision SLAM! Whether you, your children or your students are priming up for revision time, whether GCSEs, A Levels, degrees or beyond, this online talk features an expert line up of insightful, stellar speakers with proven, practical, professional tips to re-think our way to success. Don’t work harder, work SMARTER.
Livestreamed on YouTube on Wed 26 April 7.00pm. SAVE THE DATE! Book your ticket here.
Guest speakers include:
Peps McCrea - Guru of retrieval practice and hot-off-the-heels of headlining at Embley, Peps the legend is here for you. Award-winning teacher educator, designer and author. He is Dean of Learning Design at Ambition Institute, Director at Steplab, and author of the ultra-concise High Impact Teaching series. Lauren Steadman - Born without her lower right arm, three-time World Champion and seven-time European Champion, Lauren has made history proudly representing Team GB in paratriathlon - the culmination of a 16-year dream. She has also competed in SAS: Who Dares Wins and Strictly Come Dancing. Here Lauren will focus on the unbeatable power of determination.
William Wadsworth - The Exam Study Expert. Recently featured in The Times, author of ‘Outsmart My Exams’, and the largest worldwide exam-based podcast, The Exam Study Expert gives clear, practical strategies to improve your revision and exam technique. Find out more examstudyexpert.com
Lola Anderson - Surbiton Old Girl, Lola is now a full time Team GB Rowing athlete: Women’s Single Sculls champion at Henley Royal Regatta; Senior European Champion. At 24, she is already third best in the world. She knows how to succeed; she has a plan for success that works. Lola will detail goal-setting, and preparing the mind to visualise and execute success.
An open Q&A will follow the presentations. Questions are welcomed in advance at email@example.com
For students of all ages and abilities, Revision SLAM is a must.
Livestreamed on YouTube on Wed 26 April 7.00pm. SAVE THE DATE! Book your ticket here.
Find previous episodes here.
ep. 26 Come see how we celebrate Science Week
In this episode we give you a glimpse behind the scenes of the Surbiton Science week. The week sees a range of activities that shine a light on the different fields of science, with a particular focus on the unsung female heroes of science. Each morning, our Sixth Form Science Ambassadors deliver a science-focused assembly to several hundred students at a time, there are Chemistry experiments and explosions in the quad at lunchtime, a house science quiz, and the central feature of the week, the Science Fair, showcasing months of team-based student research into a range of scientific fields.
ep 25. A Level Politics students break down the US midterms
In last week’s episode we heard from Ms Jackson, Head of Politics, and her Year 12 Politics students on the premiership of Liz Truss. In this week’s episode, Mr Gunning, Acting Head of Politics, and his Year 13 students will be taking us through their dissection of the US midterms and what it means for the 2024 Presidential race.
ep 24. Meet the Politics Department
In this episode, we sit in on a Politics lesson with Year 12. Recorded in November 2022, the class had been following Liz Truss' premiership closely. They started writing and researching while she was still PM, focusing on her controversial budget, however, they had had to pivot their research into a post mortem after Liz Truss resigned, just 49 days after taking office. In this episode, you'll hear from students who've just been studying Politics A Level for 6 weeks.
ep 23. Meet our Scope Day external speakers
In this week's episode, we bring you interviews with our external Scope Day speakers. Each Scope Day we arrange for experts to come in and talk to our students about looking after theirmental health and emotional well-being, as well as a range of difficult subjects such as sexual assault, drugs & alcohol and staying safe at music festivals. In this episode, you can hear from: Deana Puccio from the RAP Project, about awareness of sexual assault and issues relating to consent; Henry Hudson from the People Change Minds Project, about coming out as gay and how to be an ally and an inclusivity leader; and Zoe Shuttleworth from IT Happens, about issues relating to drugs & alcohol, including vaping and spiking. These impactful talks act as an extension of our robust PSHE and RSE programme, allowing for deep dive into difficult territory.
ep 22. The Public Speaking Competition 2023
Public speaking is something we all have to do at some point in our lives, whether it’s a wedding speech or a colleague’s farewell, however, it often comes up as a commonly held phobia. At Surbiton High, each year, the Public Speaking Competition sees over 500 students across Years 7-9 compete to win the Public Speaking Cup. In the first round, students must write, research and perform their own work independently on a topic of their choosing. Once they are through to the second and third rounds, they must work collaboratively in their year groups until the final teams of three are selected that are comprised of one student per year group for each House team. In today’s episode we learn a little bit about what goes into preparing for the Public Speaking Competition and we give you recordings of the Austen House Team’s winning contribution.
ep 21. Founders' Day (Our 139th year!)
ep 20. Choosing your GCSE options
Choosing your GCSE option subjects is one of the first moments in your academic journey where you get to shape your future identity. In this episode we spend time with Y9 as they learn about GCSE option subjects from Y10s who are six months into their GCSE courses. Students representing each option subject get to do a one-minute elevator pitch explaining why they chose the subject and what they love about it most. We also talk with Head of Year 9, Holly Christophers, about the extensive work that goes into supporting students in making the right decision for them.
ep 19. What is The Green & Silver Club?
In this episode we talk with Polly Rumbold (Head of Development, Alumnae Relations and Whole School Events Coordinator) about our alumnae association, The Green & Silver Club. The club is more than a network to connect together past students, instead it links past and present students and staff to create an intergenerational Surbiton High School community. In the second half of the episode, we hear from 90 year old alumna Beryl Ba (née Birchmore) who attended the school from 1943-1949 and went on to pursue a career as a Christian missionary in Senegal.
ep 18. Senior School: What makes a good assembly?
In this episode we take you inside our Main Hall where every day starts with an assembly. At Surbiton we deliver assemblies that are led by our core values of Community, Courage, Creativity, Respect and Inquisitiveness, which every year group attends once a week. Each week a different member of the Senior Leadership Team shares a ten minute reflection on something relevant either for the time of year or on the wider world.
ep 17. Senior School: What are SCOPE Days?
Surbiton Copes Days – otherwise known as SCOPE Days – are days where the entire school is taken off timetable for half a day to focus on PSHE and RSE, as well as team-building in forms groups, and generally building and reinforcing positive relationships in the school community. Guest speakers are brought in from outside of school to talk about difficult topics like drugs, assault, homeless, social services and many more. The day happens twice a year and has a tremendous impact on student wellbeing and contextual knowledge of the wider world.
ep 16. Prep Schools: The Quiet Child
Some children are confident, others are shy; some extroverted, others introverted. But what do you do to make sure a quiet child is getting the most out of their educational environment? What do you do as a parent if you are an extrovert and your child isn’t? Or vice versa? In this episode, Louise McCabe Arnold and Tracey Chong (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) share their experience of working with children across the whole extrovert-introvert spectrum.
ep 15. Christmas at Surbiton High School
In this episode we give you a look at Christmas celebrations at Surbiton High School: the traditional, the social and the charitable. This episode includes an interview with Principal Rebecca Glover, interviews with Y7s about decorating their form rooms and Sixth Formers running the charity hot chocolate and karaoke event for students in the main hall. Go to 6.30 mins to hear Rebecca’s Christmas message.
ep 14. Outreach – Surbiton High School in the Community
Led by Stuart Bird, Surbiton Outreach is the department in the school that makes sure we are living up to one of our key values: community. Over the years, Stuart has created educational programmes with neighbouring schools, including student mentoring, adult education lectures, arranging talks and lending out science resources to local schools. Each year Stuart arranges ‘Soul in the Community’ which sees hundreds of Surbiton pupils helping out into local senior citizens’ homes, youth clubs and parks to support the community in which our school is based. In this episode, we catch up with Stuart Bird and Bee Huntley on the Thames riverside, where the school is landscaping part of the Queen’s Promenade.
Surbiton High School is proud to be part of a strong and sharing community, and we are committed to fostering positive, productive and caring relationships with other schools, parents, residents and businesses in the wider community.
Our programme is roughly comprised of three key strands: Community Classroom, Partnerships and Personal Enrichment.
Community Classrooms are an exciting and dynamic way to extend academic learning opportunities for young people, parents and local residents. They can take the form of adult evening courses, longer courses with qualification outcomes or weekend workshops for students of all ages.
Independent-State School Partnerships both broaden and enhance the experiences available for pupils and staff across all participants. Mutually beneficial relationships are invaluable in sharing support, knowledge and resources so that everyone gains; together we are stronger. Older pupils lead a range of ‘lessons’ and book clubs at neighbouring schools; leaders gain self-confidence, presentation skills and a genuine sense of selflessness. Clubbers can gain inspiration, knowledge and older, ‘cool’ friends.
Personal Enrichment gives wonderful opportunities for members of our local community and the School to develop through authentic and challenging experiences; these might arise as supporting work with charities or individual project work, global and local. Surbiton High School pupils flourish and thrive in the practical needs of project work and develop confidence and resilience outside of the classroom delivering project outcomes that really are appreciated by the community.
ep 13. Duke of Edinburgh – more than just hiking boots, gaiters and flasks of hot tea.
Known throughout the UK as the foremost programme for introducing young people to the great outdoors, the DofE programme at Surbiton takes hundreds of students on a dozen expeditions each year. In today’s episode, we talk with Graham Johnson, Head of Duke of Edinburgh and Outdoor Education, who tells us that it’s about much, much more than just hiking boots, gaiters and flasks of hot tea.
ep 12. Reading with your child
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein,
Literacy is access to knowledge. Getting your child into reading in an enthusiastic, but non-pushy way is the key to starting their education career. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) share their thoughts on reading strategies with young children.
ep 11. Behind the scenes at the musical: Legally Blonde
ep 10. Senior School: Legally Blonde - School Musical Promo
ep 9. Senior School: What does an outstanding Careers Department look like?
The years we spend in education in our youth are miniscule when compared to the 30-40 years we spend working and building our careers in adulthood. However, education forms the foundation for all future development. At Surbiton High, the Careers Department work with students from Year 7-13 to ensure that students are exposed to opportunities and supported every step of the way in their career journey. Led by Terry McDermott, Director of Careers and Head of Oxbridge, (winner of the United Learning Support Worker of the Year Award 2020 for his work across United Learning Academies creating programmes to support entry into the most competitive universities), the Careers Department work tirelessly to ensure students know where they want to go – and get where they want to go.
ep 8. Senior School: An inside look at our MFL department
Bonjour, bienvenue, willkommen to the Surbiton High School Podcast. In this episode we celebrate the European Week of Languages with a range of international cuisines from our canteen and students singing Euro pop hits in multi-lingual karaoke. Later on in the episode, we shine a light on the incredible work done by our Modern Foreign Languages Department, led by the enormously talented and passionate polyglot, Mme Paul.
ep 7. Senior School: The Surbiton Literature Society ‘Lit Soc’ celebrates 10 years
Books are magical things that communicate experiences and bring people together. In a corner of the library, surrounded by hardbacks, paper backs and cups of tea, for 10 years Ms Huntley and Mr Humphreys have been bringing students together for an hour each week to talk about novels, non-fiction, poetry and plays with students from Year 7 to Year 13 – and even some Old Girls who come back every now and then. Lit Soc is a safe space from which students explore the world through the lens of literature.
ep 6. Prep Schools: The importance of Grit – with Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold.
According to a tremendous amount of research from a range of education academics such as Carol Dweck and Angela Duckworth, grit and resilience are two of the most important virtues that impact educational development. So, how do we build a sense of grit and resilience in our own children. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) share their thoughts on grit, how to build it, how to sustain it, and the role it plays in life-long learning
ep 5. Prep Schools: reading picture books with your child
From Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ to Julia Donaldson’s ‘Room on the Broom’, picture books are one of the most formative and magical experiences in a child’s educational development. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) share their love of picture books and their thoughts on it’s importance as a cornerstone of language and learning.
ep 4. Senior School: Co-curricular Fair: Education Beyond the Curriculum
An education that is narrow provides limited opportunities. At Surbiton High, we believe that a broad education provides the full spectrum of opportunities. That is why we run over 150 clubs (co-curricular societies) at lunchtimes and after school, with everything from ‘Intro to Archaeology’ and ‘Beginners Italian’ to the full range of sports: hockey, football, netball, etc. In this episode we take you to the Co-Curricular Fair where you can hear for yourself the clamour and drama of several hundred students joining the clubs that will define their time at SHS
ep 3. Prep Schools: Talking about bereavement with children– with Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold
Bereavement can be one of the most difficult topics to cover with your child. Following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, your children may be filled with questions about death. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) draw on their combined experience of talking to pupils, parents and colleagues about death, and share their thoughts on the best approach with young children.
ep 2. Prep schools: Starting reception - with Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold
The first episode in our 'Talking Heads' series featuring Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively). Starting a new year in primary school is a big thing. Starting a new chapter of your life in Reception is even bigger. In this episode, Louise and Tracey share their thoughts on the best ways to prepare children for their first year of school.
ep 1. Senior School: Starting a new academic year – with Principal Rebecca Glover
Starting a new academic year is an opportunity for a fresh start and to turn over a new leaf. In this episode, Principal Rebecca Glover gives her insight into the best way to start a new school year, whether you’re in Y7 or Y13, and shares her thoughts about the year ahead (2022-23).