I was introduced to the school by the energetic Registrar, Ed Peters. The first thing to note is that Felsted is really quite rural – very close to Stansted Airport and about an hour and a half’s drive from London. With 465 children in the Prep School and 530 in the Senior School, the school dominates the small village that is its namesake.
The school has an international reach (maximum 20% foreign students) but a very British feel. There is a steady influx form North London, although it is a ‘proper’ boarding school and many children tend to stay at the weekends. The school is strong in sports and students excel, particularly at rugby in recent times. Academically, the story is interesting: the level of ‘Value Added’ is amongst the top ten in the country. This is important, because it should accurately reflect a day-to-day working environment that is upbeat and successful. In any case, academic high fliers are well catered for, with a strong set of scholars who perform, ‘brilliantly’ in exams and have the benefit of a dedicated scholars’ programme to bring out their best. There is also a new set of awards, named after a benefactor of the School that celebrate a wide range of talents, both within and outside school.
Felsted has been described as being ‘Mad about Music’ and this would seem to be warranted. They have recently agreed a significant partnership with the Junior Guildhall School of Music, whereby Felsted is used as an, ‘eastern region campus’ for the Junior
Guildhall, focusing on the Guildhall Strings programme for chidren in the region aged 4 and above Talented students can apply for a Guildhall/Felsted Music scholarship and will get the chance to work with some of the very best musicians in the country. This is quite a feather in Felsted’s cap, making it a ‘Go To’ public school for the musically talented.
Felsted has a modern, forward thinking focus on, ‘the whole child’ and takes a holistic approach to their education. This reflects their belief that the only thing about future that is certain is that it will be very different to now. The traditional professions are not necessarily going to be as relevant as they are today and Felsted is trying to teach its students to be as adaptable as possible. I think it has every chance of succeeding.