Outside the Classroom
Stoke College is blessed with a beautiful parkland campus and plenty of space, not just for outdoor team sports (rugby, soccer, cricket, hockey) but for walking and talking with friends, for fishing and boating in the summer and, in Pre-Prep and Prep, for Forest School. Forest School begins as outdoor lessons for learning from play and, as children grow older, develops into an appetite for ecology, adventure and the natural world. We are developing a new programme of experiential learning, from field lessons and adventure activities to, from Year 11 up, taster days in careers.
Our largest building is the Gym, where basketball and badminton feature prominently. Our athletes in the Senior School do circuit training at lunch time in addition to Games twice weekly, and we are immensely proud of the batch of cross country runners we have right now.
But our extra-curricular programme is about much more than sport: we use both an extended lunch time and after school activities (4.00-5.00pm) to ensure that there is always a lot to do. Midday and after school clubs abound. Most, like Chess and Debating, are provided and overseen by our teachers and senior pupils, but others, like Fencing and Judo, are supplied by external contractors whose services are a small extra on the termly bill.
Performance and showtime are a big thing at Stoke. Children need public-facing challenges (in supportive contexts) to build their confidence. We have concerts and cabarets as often as possible and it’s all hands on deck every Spring Term when we stage our mega musical in Haverhill. Yet we can and will do better: we are keen to develop our musical foundations, partly through scholarships, especially now that we use the local church twice weekly for chapel.