This week, St George’s School Windsor Castle was named as a finalist in two categories in the national Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Awards 2023. Shortlisted for both the ‘Inventive Sports Programme’ and the ‘Most Creative Learning Through Play (Early Years)’ awards, the school was the only co-ed setting in the Royal Borough and one of only two standalone prep schools in the whole of Berkshire to be named as a finalist.
The ‘Inventive Sports Programme’ award celebrates schools which have taken steps to promote a love of sport and nurture team spirit in all students. Since unveiling the school’s enhanced ‘sport for all’ philosophy in 2019, St George’s has developed a new set of sporting values and innovated in the breadth and participation of sports on offer. In September 2021, the school then rolled out a new pathway programme coined ‘the 4Ps’, which charts the development of students from Kindergarten to Year 8 through an age-appropriate journey from Play to Participation, Progress and Performance.
“Since rolling out our new approach, the school has continued to achieve significant success across many sporting disciplines and we attribute this largely to our focus on nurturing every child’s individual talents, supporting their play, participation, progress and performance, and removing the pressure of a results-driven environment,” said Patrick Wright, Director of Sport and Co-Curricular at St George’s School Windsor Castle. “More importantly however, every student loves to take part in sport across a range of disciplines and understands that sport is far more than just taking part or winning.”
The ‘Most Creative Learning Through Play (Early Years)’ category recognises schools who teach creatively through experiential learning and play. By introducing the innovative International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme from Kindergarten upwards, students even in the earliest phase of education at St George’s are given the opportunity to take ownership of their learning and take part in play scenarios and activities that challenge their thinking and decision making, harnessing their natural curiosity to develop as inquirers.
The results of this approach were noted by the Independent Schools Inspectorate during a recent visit when they reported, “pupils learn to make decisions from an early age, such as when Reception children choose their own activities, completing tasks such as role play in the doctor’s surgery, bead threading, exploring colours and constructing designs with wooden objects.” Following the inspection, St George’s was awarded ‘excellent’ in all areas.
The schools shortlisted in the Muddy Stilettos Best Schools Awards 2023 will now be subjected to a further round of judging before the winners are announced on 7 June 2023.
In a statement on their website, Muddy Stilettos said: “We’ve been blown away by the quality of entries (over 400 of them!) across our 13 categories showcasing modern, well rounded, pastorally strong education… Gold stars all round!”