She said: “I adore leading Yarrells and have always known it is a gem. I am passionate about providing the best possible education for young people where they have the opportunity to learn in a wide range of subjects, including meaningful learning experiences in sport, music, the creative and performing arts.
“I believe children need a protected space in which they can learn about themselves, can grow in self-expression and self-confidence, can explore the world imaginatively and creatively as well as gain deep knowledge and understanding in academic subjects. I have always believed it is possible to create an excellent educational environment that meets the needs of all abilities, is broad and rich in its curriculum base and doesn’t compromise on quality.
''It concerns me that in many schools across the country, children are driven so hard to meet academic targets at the expense of their broader learning and their personal development. At Yarrells, we work assiduously to provide an education that is both excellent and affordable. My dream would be to replicate this educational model more widely so that every growing child has the opportunities to create a joyous and healthy future.
“Nevertheless, I am all too aware that what we offer at Yarrells is not available to every child and we feel deeply about this. Yarrells’ founder Mrs Natalie Covell, and the directors of the school, have pledged to offer a 100% funded school place each year for a child entering Year 3 who has a flair for music and/or the performing arts. This will ensure that Natalie’s legacy of providing young people a space for performance and creativity in education continues, and that it is offered to a wider group of children in Dorset.
“We have an enviable academic reputation, with the pass rate for 11+ entry sitting at 95% in 2022, but it’s not just about results for us – far from it. For us, it’s about the individual and building a relationship with them: finding out what makes each child unique, what they need to thrive and then ensuring we provide that. It is a statement of fact that every child at Yarrells makes excellent educational progress against their starting points.
“I will happily shout from the roof-tops that education should not be a ‘one-size fits all’ programme, and at Yarrells, we tailor our curriculum to meet the needs of each child. To have received the external validation from the Independent Schools Inspectorate that we do this excellently, in every area of education, confirms to me that we have been successful in creating this vitally important environment in which children flourish under our care.
“Yarrells is truly special and has a deep hold on my heart. I am very excited about where the next five years will take us and am completely committed to leading the school on that journey.”