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Independent School of the Year 2021

St Peter's School has been named School of the Year at the Tes Independent School Awards, one of the biggest nights in the UK education calendar.

St Peter’s School was shortlisted for the Prep School of the Year Award and took home the Pre-prep School of the Year Award, following up this accolade with the overall Independent School of the Year Award.

These awards reflect the continued excellence of St Peter's School, which has been recognised with a number of prestigious awards in recent years including Tes Prep / Pre-Prep School of the Year 2018 and The Sunday Times North Independent School of the Year 2019.

The Tes Independent School Awards celebrate the teachers and teams from independent schools across the UK that are raising the standards of education and making a positive impact on the personal and academic success of students and the wider community. This year’s awards have highlighted the extraordinary work that schools have done in spite of a most challenging year.

The judges felt that, in a competitive field, St Peter’s School stood out in exemplifying some of the best practice in the independent school sector.

The judges praised the school’s use of a range of approaches to support pupils’ wellbeing and personal growth, whether through its Forest School, encouraging pupils to use ICT independently or helping pupils champion a campaign to stop single-use plastic bottles in school.

Mental health is at the heart of the school’s work. Children learn that their mental health exists on a continuum and can be applied positively to all aspects of their learning and interests. The words mental health and wellbeing are introduced in Reception and there is an open culture of talking about mental health throughout the school. 

The school has an early focus on the idea of citizenship, with pupils involved in intergenerational music workshops in care homes or producing a reverse advent calendar for the homeless.

Judges were particularly impressed by the breadth of the curriculum on offer and the innovation on display. Whether working with programmable robots or exploring the school environs, the city of York and beyond, pupils are encouraged to think of themselves as part of a global and local community.

Lead judge Annette Roberts said St Peter's School “showcases everything an independent pre-prep school should offer: an outstanding innovative and broad curriculum, which encourages curiosity in an ever-changing world”.

Phil Hardy, Head of St Peter's 2-8, said: "It is an honour to receive the Pre-Prep School of the Year Award again for the second time in three years, and to follow this up with the accolade of Independent School of the Year is an astonishing achievement.

"These awards reflect the continued dedication of our incredible colleagues, both teaching and support staff, and the support of the wider school community including parents, governors and children. The awards have added poignancy this year as we reflect on all the challenges we have overcome as a school community in recent months."

Andy Falconer, Head of St Peter's 8-13, said: "We were thrilled to be short-listed for the Prep School of the Year Award. It is a wonderful reflection of all that the children, staff and parents have achieved together throughout a very different school year."

Jeremy Walker, Head Master of St Peter's School, York said: “I’m so incredibly proud of all my colleagues and our pupils for these awards. I’m delighted that the school has been recognised for the development of the whole pupil and for the promotion of fun and creativity. York offers some of the best schools in the country and these awards reflect everything that York and the wider region can offer.”

Jon Severs, Editor of Tes magazine and Chief Judge of the Awards said: “The Tes Independent School Awards is a celebration of the fantastic achievements of the independent sector. These winning and shortlisted schools have shown ingenuity, ambition and perseverance during what has been an unbelievably challenging year.”

The Tes Independent School Awards were held virtually for the first time to comply with the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. 

Tes Award Trophy 2

Tes Award Trophy