Traditional values and the ability to innovate stand our girls in good stead | Portsmouth High School

Traditional values and the ability to innovate stand our girls in good stead

At Portsmouth High Prep School we pride ourselves on retaining our traditional values and approaches alongside the ability to innovate and move with the times.

As I enter a room the girls will stand and say good morning or good afternoon to me, a traditional greeting that shows respect for my position as Head of the Prep School. This is not something that I insist on due to an overwhelming desire to build up my ego, but more that the children learn what respect is and that the people around them deserve it. An insistence on good manners and politeness is not old fashioned or stuffy, it is something that will stand the girls in good stead as they progress in life. Visitors are greeted with courtesy, doors are held open and the atmosphere is therefore pleasant for all who enter the school.

Are the girls perfect in this? Absolutely not. They will forget, often in their enthusiasm to go from one place to another. It is our job to remind them and also to model the types of behaviour we expect from the girls themselves. This air of mutual respect means that often conflict can be mitigated through careful words and evoking feelings of empathy, rather than Draconian punishments. It results in very low levels of poor behaviour and excellent relationships between the girls, even when there are personality clashes.

No school is perfect in this regard and there will still be disagreements and girls who just do not get on. It would not be real life if that were the case and the children do need to be able to navigate the vagaries of social interaction. We encourage them to do so in an atmosphere of mutual respect that will give them the ability to do so now and in the future.