Head Master's Welcome
Head Master of Rugby School
Academic distinction is important, but more important are the values that go with it. At Rugby, pupils explore their own identities and strengths, and find the sympathetic expertise that helps them to transform individual talents into accomplishments - accomplishments which will make them valued and respected in an increasingly complex world. This kind of humane wisdom is what Dr Arnold believed in, and it is still a key aspect of what makes Rugby distinctive today.
Stephen Fry who played Dr Arnold in the most recent adaptation of Tom Brown's Schooldays wrote to me after speaking to the pupils during the filming to say:
"I can't tell you how delighted I was by the naturalness, friendliness and all round bright-eyed charm of your pupils. So easy to think of all teenagers as glum, awkward, rude lumps who can't meet your eyes or engage in conversation without shuffling and scowling. Your boys and girls reflect great credit on you, your staff and the school."
Schools are all about people and I think Stephen Fry captures the very essence of what makes Rugby School special - its pupils.
Enjoy looking at the website but it is no substitute for a visit. We look forward to welcoming you to what is undoubtedly a remarkable and innovative institution that has every right to be seen as the leading co-educational boarding school in the country.
About the School
Rugby School is an educational community whose philosophy embraces the challenges of academic excellence, spiritual awareness, responsibility and leadership, friendships and relationships and participation in a wide variety of activities.
Boys, girls and staff come to Rugby School from a wide range of backgrounds and from home and abroad. The staff, collectively, have very considerable experience and wisdom. The boys and girls have vast potential. All have curiosity and ability.
Whilst we have collective aims, everyone is treated as an individual: all boys and girls are encouraged to develop their talents and gifts and to use initiative to achieve this.
As an individual everyone is part of a larger group – a year group in a House, the House itself, a class, a team, the School community and Rugby town. We wish all members of the School to think of others at least as much as they do of themselves, giving as well as receiving, including all, trusting others, being tolerant of those who have different views and habits, respecting all around as individuals and caring about them, and always being prepared to help when needed.
These are demanding expectations, but within the Rugby School community there is much support towards these ends; we believe that a friendly and happy atmosphere brings out the best in all of us and we shall endeavour to treat all in this way and in a spirit of co-operation and generosity.
Above all, members of the School should treat those around them as they themselves would like to be treated. Any unpleasantness directed at any member of the School or the wider community will not be tolerated.
One of the on-going challenges is the achievement of the highest academic standards. You are stretched and you will be surprised by what you can achieve. Hard work is expected as a matter of course; there will be pressure and you have to take sensible initiatives not only in doing the work but also in managing when it is to be done. The more you become involved the more you enjoy it. This requires commitment and determination to stay the course when you are stretched to your limit.
To be a well-balanced individual we need a sense of spiritual awareness along with academic achievement and physical ability. The experience of holiness, an understanding of right and wrong, and respect for the worth of each human being; these are the invisible strands that hold our community together. These values are learned in every part of our lives but the School Chapel and the activities connected with it are a particular focus for our spiritual growth.
Responsibility and Leadership
In a community every individual bears significant responsibility. Setting a good example is a major part of this responsibility and ultimately this is one of the hallmarks of good leadership. Good discipline should come from members of the School themselves and should not always have to be imposed by the School. All boys and girls need to develop their self-awareness so that they can examine themselves critically and be aware of any shortcomings and, being aware of such, to admit them and rectify them.
For those coming to the school, you enter the School as a child and you leave newly adult. Increasingly we expect all boys and girls to shoulder responsibilities for their work, for those around them who are younger and for the freedom they are given. We expect boys and girls to be articulate but able to listen, to be forthright but courteous and to be extremely busy but always ready to help others when needed.
Friendships and Relationships
One of the greatest gifts we can receive is that of friendship – being received into a group openly and willingly. For most adults, one of the best memories of School was the forging of friendships, many of which last a lifetime. Friendships spring up within Houses, between those in different Houses, within classes, within teams and within other extra-curricular activities. It is natural that in moving through a co-educational School degrees of relationship will develop too. This is part of the awareness of adult life to follow.