School Podcasts | Surbiton High School
2 students talking to the microphone
shape shield section

School Podcasts

The Surbiton High School podcast is a series that gives you an inside look at the School, staff and pupils who make Surbiton High School one of the most successful and enduring independent schools in the country. Episodes follow the Senior School and the Girls’ and Boys’ Preparatory Schools with the aim to share what life at Surbiton High School is really like, focusing on breadth of curriculum, sports, arts and the traditions of the School that make it what it is.

Episode 44 – Year 9: Choosing your GCSE Options

Listen

In this episode we talk with Head of Year 9, Alex Higgins, about how we support our Year 9s in picking their GCSE options. The second half of this episode will include a re-broadcast from last year where we take you on a tour of the Year 9 GCSE options marketplace, where Year 10 students who have been studying their GCSE course for a few months advise Year 9s in a marketplace format about why they should pick certain GCSE options.

 

Episode Descriptions

Episode 43 - Music: Student composition, 'Symphony of Persia'

Listen

In this episode, we sit down with Surbiton High music student, Mahoor in the Senior School and talk about her new composition ‘Symphony of Persia’. The episode includes an interview with Mahoor followed by the full piece. It was performed live in front of an audience of over a thousand students across four assemblies in June 2023.

Episode 42 - Excellence Series: Staff Development at Surbiton High School

Listen

In this episode, we meet with Kavita Patel, Vice Principal for Staff Development, and talk about how we train and develop our staff to provide students with the best learning environment possible.

Episode 41 - Instrumental Music at Surbiton High School

Listen

In this episode, we sit down with Richard Hammond-Hall, Head of Instrumental Music, and learn about how music lessons and ensembles work at Surbiton High School. In any given week, there are hundreds of one-to-one music lessons from dozens of instrument teachers, not to mention carefully selected and arranged ensembles and choirs that rehearse and perform the year round. The school also offers a Rare Instrument Scheme which sees lessons on less commonly played instruments, like the viola and the organ, being sponsored for students who already show talent in their main instrument.

Episode 37 - Getting to know each other on the Year 7 residential

Listen

In this episode, we go on the annual Year 7 residential to PGL where the students have the opportunity to make new friends, build their team work skills and face-down challenges together. Assistant Principal for Pupil Development and Wellbeing, explains why we start our Year 7 students’s Surbiton journey with this trip.

Episode 35 - Empire Day Project - Experiential and Immersive Learning on an enormous scale

Listen

In this episode, we let you inside one of the most exciting pedagogical experiments of 2022-23. A year in the making, The Empire Day Project, is part of Director of Drama and Dance, Chris Griffin’s, ‘My Place in the World: Past, Present and Future’ project which has been running with Year 8 since September.

The idea of the project is to look at lessons from the past and present in order to help students shape their conception of a bright future. The Empire Day Project is an experiential and immersive learning experience that that sees 162 Year 8 students, spend a day and a half in the Surbiton Assembly Rooms, which has had every room transformed into an interactive learning environment to help them understand the impact of the British Empire in a three dimensional way.

Some rooms teach students about the spice trade, other rooms teach about the slave trade; in some rooms there are Year 12 students dressed up as historical figures whom students can ask questions about the British Empire; in other rooms, students scan QR codes attached to vintage artifacts in order to teach themselves about the past. The idea is to create an environment for students to independently learn and explore the history of the British Empire, exploring both the successes and the shortcomings of the empire, the idea being to help students understand exactly what has elevated the UK to the status and economic power it has today, and to give students a firm historical platform in order to make decisions about what will happen tomorrow.

Episode 34 - Sports Day 2023 - Fun in the sun and new school record for high jump

Listen

In this episode, we give you a quick look at what it’s like to be at a Surbiton High School Sports Day. You’ll hear from House Leaders, Heads of House, veteran Year 12s and rookie Year 7s at their first Sports Day.

Episode 32 - Excellence Series: What makes excellent Learning & Teaching…and where does AI fit in to it?

Listen

In this episode of the Excellence Series, we meet with Assistant Principal for Learning & Teaching, Paul Reeves, and discuss what makes excellent classroom practice. The episode covers a range of familiar and innovative strategies, our philosophy for excellent Learning & Teaching and a discussion about AI technology and its place in the classroom.

Episode 31 - Excellence Series: What makes an excellent Sixth Form?

Listen

In Spring 2023, Surbiton High School achieved ‘Excellent in all areas’ in its ISI inspection. In the Excellence Series, we give you a look behind the scenes at the different departments and processes that make our school one of the most successful Independent schools in the UK. In this episode, we look at what makes an excellent Sixth Form. We talk with Director of Sixth Form, Jon Owen, about the different processes put in place to ensure excellence both inside and outside of the classroom, and we hear from the 2022-23 Student Leadership Team about their experience of attending Surbiton High School and what it feels like to be part of such a great Sixth Form.

 

Episode 30 - Excellence Series: What Makes Our School Excellent? With Rebecca Glover and Matt Close

Listen

In Spring 2023, The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) visited Surbiton High School and awarded it ‘Excellent in all areas’. In this ‘Excellence Series’ we take you behind the scenes of one of the most successful schools in the country in order to give you an insight into the hard work that goes into making every day excellent here at Surbiton High School. In this first episode, we start and the top by talking to Principal Rebecca Glover and Senior Vice Principal Matt Close about what makes Surbiton High School such a special place.

Episode 29 - Meet the Chair of the Local Governing Body - Ade McKeon

Listen

In this episode, we sit down with Ade McKeon, the Chair of the Local Governing Body. A career business executive and CEO, Ade has worked across some of the biggest UK brands in the food and drinks industry with extensive experience in P&L Management and a proven track record of improving financial performance with innovative operational processes, systems and structures. Ade talks us through the responsibilities of being a governor, what his role is as the Chair of the Local Governing Body, as well as responding to our 2023 ISI report ‘excellent in all areas’.

Episode 28 - Out on a Duke of Edinburgh Expedition with Year 10

Listen

Grab your gaiters! In this episode, we go on a trek across the Surrey Hills with some Y10 students as they take part in a training weekend for DofE. They have to learn how to navigate using a map, use teamwork to get across muddy fields, set up their tents, cook a substantial meal on a camping stove and keep a cool head when things don’t go according to plan. We have interviews with staff who’ve been involved with DofE for several decades, and talk with students about what motivates them and what they enjoy most about DofE

Episode 27 - Pop Talks: Revision Slam - 26th April

Listen

In this episode, we talk with Stuart Bird, Head of Outreach, about the next live online episode of Pop Talks. With exam season approaching like a bullet train, POP! Talks is back with Revision SLAM!  Whether you, your children or your students are priming up for revision time, whether GCSEs, A Levels, degrees or beyond, this online talk features an expert line up of insightful, stellar speakers with proven, practical, professional tips to re-think our way to success. Don’t work harder, work SMARTER.

Episode 26 - Come see how we celebrate Science Week

Listen

In this episode we give you a glimpse behind the scenes of the Surbiton Science week. The week sees a range of activities that shine a light on the different fields of science, with a particular focus on the unsung female heroes of science. Each morning, our Sixth Form Science Ambassadors deliver a science-focused assembly to several hundred students at a time, there are Chemistry experiments and explosions in the quad at lunchtime, a house science quiz, and the central feature of the week, the Science Fair, showcasing months of team-based student research into a range of scientific fields.

Episode 25 – US midterms

Listen

In last week’s episode we heard from Ms Jackson, Head of Politics, and her Year 12 Politics students on the premiership of Liz Truss. In this week’s episode, Mr Gunning, Acting Head of Politics, and his Year 13 students will be taking us through their dissection of the US midterms and what it means for the 2024 Presidential race.

Episode 24 – Meet the Politics Department

Listen

In this episode, we sit in on a Politics lesson with Year 12. Recorded in November 2022, the class had been following Liz Truss’ premiership closely. They started writing and researching while she was still PM, focusing on her controversial budget, however, they had had to pivot their research into a post mortem after Liz Truss resigned, just 49 days after taking office. In this episode, you’ll hear from students who’ve just been studying Politics A Level for 6 weeks.

Episode 23 – Meet our Scope Day external speakers

Listen

In this week’s episode, we bring you interviews with our external Scope Day speakers. Each Scope Day we arrange for experts to come in and talk to our students about looking after their mental health and emotional well-being, as well as a range of difficult subjects such as sexual assault, drugs & alcohol and staying safe at music festivals. In this episode, you can hear from: Deana Puccio from the RAP Project, about awareness of sexual assault and issues relating to consent; Henry Hudson from the People Change Minds Project, about coming out as gay and how to be an ally and an inclusivity leader; and Zoe Shuttleworth from IT Happens, about issues relating to drugs & alcohol, including vaping and spiking. These impactful talks act as an extension of our robust PSHE and RSE programme, allowing for deep dive into difficult territory.

Episode 22 – The Public Speaking Competition 2023

Listen

Public speaking is something we all have to do at some point in our lives, whether it’s a wedding speech or a colleague’s farewell, however, it often comes up as a commonly held phobia. At Surbiton High, each year, the Public Speaking Competition sees over 500 students across Years 7-9 compete to win the Public Speaking Cup. In the first round, students must write, research and perform their own work independently on a topic of their choosing. Once they are through to the second and third rounds, they must work collaboratively in their year groups until the final teams of three are selected that are comprised of one student per year group for each House team. In today’s episode we learn a little bit about what goes into preparing for the Public Speaking Competition and we give you recordings of the Austen House Team’s winning contribution.

Episode 21 – Founders’ Day (Our 139th year!)

Listen

Surbiton High School opened its doors on 25 January 1884 with 11 girls and the aim of providing access to ‘a superior education for girls along the guiding principles of the Church of England’. In today’s episode we take you to Founders’ Day. You will hear about the history of our founding church, St Mark’s, and how it and the school have been shaped and changed over the past 139 years. You will also hear a poetic speech from one of our Sixth Formers, about life at Surbiton High School through the years.

Episode 20 – Choosing your GCSE options

Listen

Choosing your GCSE option subjects is one of the first moments in your academic journey where you get to shape your future identity. In this episode we spend time with Y9 as they learn about GCSE option subjects from Y10s who are six months into their GCSE courses. Students representing each option subject get to do a one-minute elevator pitch explaining why they chose the subject and what they love about it most. We also talk with Head of Year 9, Holly Christophers, about the extensive work that goes into supporting students in making the right decision for them.

Episode 19 – What is The Green & Silver Club?

Listen

In this episode we talk with Polly Rumbold (Head of Development, Alumnae Relations and Whole School Events Coordinator) about our alumnae association, The Green & Silver Club. The club is more than a network to connect together past students, instead it links past and present students and staff to create an intergenerational Surbiton High School community. In the second half of the episode, we hear from 90 year old alumna Beryl Ba (née Birchmore) who attended the school from 1943-1949 and went on to pursue a career as a Christian missionary in Senegal.

Episode 18 – Senior School: What makes a good assembly?

Listen

In this episode we take you inside our Main Hall where every day starts with an assembly. At Surbiton we deliver assemblies that are led by our core values of Community, Courage, Creativity, Respect and Inquisitiveness, which every year group attends once a week. Each week a different member of the Senior Leadership Team shares a ten minute reflection on something relevant either for the time of year or on the wider world. In this episode you’ll hear from students and from Senior Vice Principal, Matthew Close, about what makes a good assembly.

Episode 17 – Senior School: What are SCOPE Days?

Listen

Surbiton Copes Days – otherwise known as SCOPE Days – are days where the entire school is taken off timetable for half a day to focus on PSHE and RSE, as well as team-building in forms groups, and generally building and reinforcing positive relationships in the school community. Guest speakers are brought in from outside of school to talk about difficult topics like drugs, assault, homeless, social services and many more. The day happens twice a year and has a tremendous impact on student wellbeing and contextual knowledge of the wider world.

Episode 16 – Prep Schools: The Quiet Child

Listen

Some children are confident, others are shy; some extroverted, others introverted. But what do you do to make sure a quiet child is getting the most out of their educational environment? What do you do as a parent if you are an extrovert and your child isn’t? Or vice versa? In this episode, Louise McCabe Arnold and Tracey Chong (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) share their experience of working with children across the whole extrovert-introvert spectrum.

Episode 15 – Christmas Special Episode

Listen

In this episode we give you a look at Christmas celebrations at Surbiton High School: the traditional, the social and the charitable. This episode includes an interview with Principal Rebecca Glover, interviews with Y7s about decorating their form rooms and Sixth Formers running the charity hot chocolate and karaoke event for students in the main hall.

Episode 14 – Surbiton High School in the Community

Listen

Led by Stuart Bird, Surbiton Outreach is the department in the school that makes sure we are living up to one of our key values: community. Over the years, Stuart has created educational programmes with neighbouring schools, including student mentoring, adult education lectures, arranging talks and lending out science resources to local schools. Each year Stuart arranges ‘Soul in the Community’ which sees hundreds of Surbiton pupils helping out into local senior citizens’ homes, youth clubs and parks to support the community in which our school is based. In this episode, we catch up with Stuart Bird and Bee Huntley on the Thames riverside, where the school is landscaping part of the Queen’s Promenade.

Episode 13 – Duke of Edinburgh – more than just hiking boots, gaiters and flasks of hot tea.

Listen

Known throughout the UK as the foremost programme for introducing young people to the great outdoors, the DofE programme at Surbiton takes hundreds of students on a dozen expeditions each year. In today’s episode, we talk with Graham Johnson, Head of Duke of Edinburgh and Outdoor Education, who tells us that it’s about much, much more than just hiking boots, gaiters and flasks of hot tea.

Episode 12 – ‘Reading with your child’ – with Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold.

Listen

​“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein,

Literacy is access to knowledge. Getting your your child into reading in an enthusiastic, but non-pushy way is the key to starting their education career. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) share their thoughts on reading strategies with young children.

Episode 11 –Behind the scenes at the musical: Legally Blonde

Listen

In this episode we take you behind the scenes at Legally Blonde to show you the hard work and talent that has gone into producing Surbiton High School’s 2022 musical. Listen to the band rehearsing and hear interviews with the musical director, Petina Morris, and a number of students in the cast and crew. Oh my God, you guys! Just one week to go!

Episode 10 –Senior School: Legally Blonde – School Musical Promo

Listen

In this episode we give you an insight into all the hard work that has gone into making this year’s musical, Legally Blonde, a huge success. Tickets are still available at the following address. https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/surbiton-high-school-presents-legally-blonde-the-musical/new-wimbledon-theatre/

Episode 9 – What does an outstanding Careers Department look like?

Listen

The years we spend in education in our youth are miniscule when compared to the 30-40 years we spend working and building our careers in adulthood. However, education forms the foundation for all future development. At Surbiton High, the Careers Department work with students from Year 7-13 to ensure that students are exposed to opportunities and supported every step of the way in their career journey. Led by Terry McDermott, Director of Careers and Head of Oxbridge, (winner of the United Learning Support Worker of the Year Award 2020 for his work across United Learning Academies creating programmes to support entry into the most competitive universities), the Careers Department work tirelessly to ensure students know where they want to go – and get where they want to go.

Episode 8 – Senior School: An inside look at our MFL department

Listen

Bonjour bienvenue, willkommen to the Surbiton High School Podcast. In this episode we celebrate the European Week of Languages with a range of international cuisines from our canteen and students singing Euro pop hits in multi-lingual karaoke. Later on in the episode, we shine a light on the incredible work done by our Modern Foreign Languages Department, led by the enormously talented and passionate polyglot, Mme Paul.

Episode 7 – Senior School: The Surbiton Literature Society ‘Lit Soc’ celebrates 10 years

Listen

Books are magical things that communicate experiences and bring people together. In a corner of the library, surrounded by hardbacks, paper backs and cups of tea, for 10 years Ms Huntley and Mr Humphreys have been bringing students together for an hour each week to talk about novels, non-fiction, poetry and plays with students from Year 7 to Year 13 – and even some Old Girls who come back every now and then. Lit Soc is a safe space from which students explore the world through the lens of literature.

Episode 6 – ‘The importance of Grit’ – with Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold.

Listen

According to a tremendous amount of research from a range of education academics such as Carol Dweck and Angela Duckworth, grit and resilience are two of the most important virtues that impact educational development. So, how do we build a sense of grit and resilience in our own children. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) share their thoughts on grit, how to build it, how to sustain it, and the role it plays in life-long learning.

Episode 5 – ‘The value of picture books’ – with Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold.

Listen

From Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ to Julia Donaldson’s ‘Room on the Broom’, picture books are one of the most formative and magical experiences in a child’s educational development. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) share their love of picture books and their thoughts on it’s importance as a cornerstone of language and learning.

Episode 4 – ‘Taking education beyond the curriculum The Co-Curricular Fair

Listen

An education that is narrow provides limited opportunities. At Surbiton High, we believe that a broad education provides the full spectrum of opportunities. That is why we run over 150 clubs (co-curricular societies) at lunchtimes and after school, with everything from ‘Intro to Archaeology’ and ‘Beginners Italian’ to the full range of sports: hockey, football, netball, etc. In this episode we take you to the Co-Curricular Fair where you can hear for yourself the clamour and drama of several hundred students joining the clubs that will define their time at SHS.

Episode 3 – ‘Talking about bereavement with children’– with Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold

Listen

Bereavement can be one of the most difficult topics to cover with your child. Following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, your children may be filled with questions about death. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton Girls’ Prep and Boys’ Prep, respectively) draw on their combined experience of talking to pupils, parents and colleagues about death, and share their thoughts on the best approach with young children.

Episode 2 – ‘Putting the Right Foot Forwards’ – with Tracey Chong & Louise McCabe-Arnold

Listen

Starting a new year in primary school is a big thing. Starting a new chapter of your life in Reception is even bigger. In this episode, Louise and Tracey (the Heads of Surbiton High Girls’ and Boys’ Preparatory Schools, respectively) share their thoughts on the best ways to prepare children for a new year at school, or for their first year of school entirely.

Episode 1 – ‘Off to a Flying Start’ – with Principal Rebecca Glover (Senior School)

Listen

Starting a new year is an opportunity for a fresh start and to turn over a new leaf. In this episode, Principal Rebecca Glover gives her insight into the best way to start a new school year, whether you’re in Year 7 or Year 13, and shares her thoughts about the year ahead (2022-23).

Celebrating 11 Oxbridge Offers

LEARN MORE

 

Read graphic with text '11 Oxbridge Offers'