‘It was the perfect school for our girls and the one which just felt right. It aligned perfectly with how my husband and I have raised the girls: respect for yours and others’ achievements; traditional prep-school ethos; being outside! And, crucially, no access to personal tech. In 10 seconds, we knew as parents that it was the school for our children. The headmaster offered the girls hot chocolate and the decision was made!
Mrs “Bootcamp” Buckley was a solid foundation for my daughter to land on.
The whole-school communication is good. All the members of the school community know the children and there is a great sense of warmth. I have no doubt our girls will leave happy, well-grounded and kind.
The school has a very close-knit community, which is very welcoming to new families and there is an active PTA which holds regular parent social events. The Elms has lived up to our expectations.’
‘The school was sold to us by family friends who had two children there. It looked like it had something truly special. The admissions process was all very easy and it felt very relaxed.
Chris, the current head, definitely cares about the ethos of the school and works very hard.
Mrs Stokes helped one of my children get an art scholarship and was generally patient and amazing. Mrs Bailey is good for sport and Mrs Austen for hunting and triathlon, as well as being a great teacher.
The communication with parents is generally good. I feel involved with my children’s education. The governor and head communications are also good.
The pastoral care has been good. There have been some amazing matrons who helped in the early years of boarding. I felt like my daughter was well looked after. The staff really care about the children and I think the staff do know them.
My daughter is in Year 8 and is ready to leave now, in a good way, so I think they’ve done their job in that respect and she got into her first-choice school.
I think the school is very good at offering lots of community activities. The school has lived up to my expectations and I would recommend it highly.’
‘Firstly, the school is in a beautiful location; with a stunning backdrop of the Malvern Hills and away from the mad rush of traffic, but close to a vibrant large village community – the setting is a real dream.
I was happy enough that my children would enjoy and benefit from the class size, inspirational teachers, sports facilities and its own farm. So, its greatest strength is seemingly not one thing, but the way it lovingly bundles a multitude of things into a joyous experience for the child and parent.
The headmaster put us at ease and treated us as individuals. We were shown around by an experienced member of staff whose passion for the school was genuine and my children seemed to become instant friends with the pupils who showed them all the nooks and crannies.
We were able to talk openly and honestly about finances, which was very helpful. We felt like we were about to join a special family. Chris – the headmaster – has time for everyone and his door is always open, which is most reassuring.
He takes the time to get to know and understand you and he treats you and your children as individuals. He is genuine and I am completely confident that my children will continue to flourish under his control.
I would not be exaggerating if I said that all the staff play a part in positively guiding our children. Mrs Underwood-Webb (a form tutor) delivered everything with passion and is a real inspiration.
A weekly newsletter keeps all parents up-to-date with academic and sporting achievements. Also, a steady flow of emails on specific matters help explain the logic behind certain decisions or give a personal touch to other events.
This ensures that parents remain aware of what is happening and able to support if needed. As a result, we feel involved with our children's education without being overbearing.
Each form tutor manages the pastoral care at the class level, with a senior member of staff in overall charge. I have been particularly grateful to the pastoral care as the system – which includes the dedication of the boarding staff – treats the children as individuals.
The school is one large family, there is no side to it – everyone looks out for one another, it's as simple as that.
We have been advised on the type of school that our eldest might flourish best in and we have been given the time to explore some options – one of which we are very happy with.
We now know that we can succeed at CE and the final year will be spent maximising that potential. We couldn’t ask for more preparation.
It is a very close-knit school community that brings together pupils and parents from all over the world. The children and parents really do care and support each other.
There is a parent forum for each year group and there are regular events that parents can attend, such as school and visiting play productions, bonfire nights, a farm show and more.
I’m just very grateful that our children are at The Elms. It really is a hidden gem of a school. If you ask my youngest what he likes most about the school, he replies “everything”.’