Saturday 6 September 2008

Being co-educated in a built urban environment

The history of UCS (University College School) is pretty straight forward and so you would think...

But as I was passing at the weekend I reflected on the fact that in 1907 the mov was to generous greenfield sites on the outskirts of London - Hampstead. Nopw clearly Hampstead is pretty leafy but now given the traffic pressures, the area doesn't feel like a vast green site.

But I was struck that this picture I took earlier in the summer gives the green atmosphere beautifully.

UCS has just celebrated 100 years of success and with that went a new history of the school. Nigel Watson, was commissioned to write what isthe third history of the school (the other two being in 1930 and 1980).

The UCS website lays proudly (rightly) lays out something of the philosophy of the school:

"UCS was founded to be different from other schools and it remains so today. Our liberal philosophy lends the school a distinctiveness of which we are extremely proud. We are, of course, committed to academic excellence. We believe, however, that this should be more than a narrow aim in itself.

"Excellence at UCS at every level from age 3 to 18, results from not only effective teaching and learning. It depends upon respect for the individuality of each pupil, recognition of each pupil's talents, interests and potential, and a very high quality of personal care.

"Education at UCS is a friendly and purposeful co-operation between school, pupil and home. Founded as a tolerant community without religious or ethnic barriers, we could not approach our work in any other way."

So why am I precisely musing on this? - well, this week, 1st September, sees the school going co-educational and admitting girls into the sixth form. Long overdue or timely doesn't really matter - it happened this week. :-)

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