Meet the Head: Diana Rose
PUBLISHED: 12:08 26 August 2014
The headmistress of the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, speaks about her school’s ethos, strengths and how it prepares pupils for life beyond school
What is the school’s ethos? Royal Masonic School’s thoroughly inclusive ethos fosters high achievement alongside exceptional pastoral care. Our aim is to give girls an education that is rich, balanced and above all happy, and we are proud of the high level of value we add, not just academically but also culturally and personally, which puts us in the top 10 per cent of schools nationally. Girls are always encouraged to do their personal best within an aspirational and caring environment which allows them to develop as rounded and well-balanced young women who are self-confident and independent. Most importantly, all girls are valued as individuals, capable of success.
Who is RMS for? We cater very effectively for different children, from girls who thrive on academic study to those who love sport; from confident dancers and actresses to gifted painters and designers – our curriculum is broad and our ethos is inclusive. This is not a school motivated by league- table position, and no girl is ever asked to leave for academic reasons, although out results are consistently excellent and almost all girls gain places at their first choice of university. Instead, the school is motivated by the commitment to fulfil each girl’s potential as an individual so that she leaves us not just with the qualifications but also the personal qualities that will enable her to succeed in the future, whatever path she may choose.
What are the school’s greatest strengths? I believe that, because of RMS’s global outlook and overseas relationships, our girls are increasingly well-equipped for success in a highly- competitive world of rapidly shrinking frontiers. Not only do they have the opportunity to travel overseas, thanks to our links with Canada, with Harrow Schools in Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong, and through our charity links in Ghana, but they also have the opportunity to study alongside boarders from all over the world. As a school, we are committed to the teaching of foreign languages, with European languages and Mandarin offered to Advanced Level. RMS is part of a Comenius Project linking us to schools in seven European cities where our girls visit schools and stay with host families.
How do you prepare students for the next stage of their lives? In seeking to prepare our girls for the future, RMS offers an exceptionally wide extra-curricular programme, affording pupils a crucial edge to distinguish themselves from the crowd. We run regular enterprise days, offer leadership training and focus on resilience, which all combine to cultivate in our girls the transferable social and interpersonal skills now demanded by the most discriminating universities and employers.
What makes RMS different?
It is not a hot-house, it is a school which values social and emotional intelligence as highly as academic intelligence. We also guarantee all our girls a right of transfer from prep to senior department and from there to sixth form, and we go out of our way to accept most siblings. That said, RMS is not a soft option academically; it is a vibrant go-ahead institution where outstanding teaching and learning enable girls to get exactly the same results they would have done elsewhere, but without undue pressure in an atmosphere where collaboration rather than competitiveness prevails.