Headmaster at Kew House School Mark Hudson on the importance of self discipline and why he’s pushing girls to go for STEM subjects

Words: Rachel Mantock

With their brand new, multi use sixth form building set to launch in summer, the team at Kew House School are excited about the year ahead. Headmaster at the highly regarded school, Mark Hudson, explains: ‘We will have use of the building from the first week of August. The maths department will take over the entire top floor of the building, while the rest of the building we’ll be used as a multiuse space for a variety of different subjects. Our careers hub will also be housed in this new building, along with the head of sixth form’s office.

‘The entire ground floor will be dedicated as an independent learning centre. It will be like the most awesome library that anyone has ever seen, but with a big tech element too. They’ll even be coffee tables, sofas and a café for the sixth formers to enjoy! It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to teach themselves how to conduct their own learning time under an Independent Learning Manager.’

Hudson can’t stress enough the pivotal nature of becoming self disciplined with your education before you leave school enough and is pioneering Kew House’s new Independent Learning Centre as a university style set up. ‘This is one of the first steps to acquiring a set of skills that will carry you through life especially when it comes to university education and throughout their careers,’ he says.

‘Nowadays, the average university student can expect between 12-14 hours of lectures a week. First year university students who have come from a school where they have been intensively managed and very controlled only inside a classroom environment will get a bit of a shock. University students need to acquire the ability to work independently before they become university students.’

The school where girls and STEM subjects go hand in hand

Taking a peek at the progress of Kew House School’s new sixth form centre

The experienced Headmaster also points out that the UCAS system is changing drastically and fewer and fewer universities are still holding interviews as part of the screening process, therefore the significance lies within the student’s personal statement. ‘Extra curricular activities will back up the claims you make in your personal statement and we are making sure our students have that back up by encouraging them all into extra curricular activities years before the admissions process even starts,’ he states.

Even though Kew House School has a great track record for getting their students into Oxbridge and The Russell Group, Hudson feels that matching the student with the university that is right for them is far more important than whether or not that happens to be one of the UK’s top players. In this sense, Kew House puts the individual above stats and percentages, which results in a more wholesome outcome for each student. As Hudson puts it: ‘It’s not about making the school look good, it’s about making the students look good. They always come first.’

I have been struggling and fighting for more women to be included in STEM fields my whole career. Some of the best students I have put forward for engineering have been women

Hudson is also relentless in his efforts to encourage more female students into STEM subjects in the hope that they will opt for these students at university too. He’s allocated staff to specifically push this agenda because he knows how crucial those subjects are in our ever changing world.

‘The girls are every bit as good as the boys,’ he says. ‘I have been struggling and fighting for more women to be included in STEM fields my whole career. Some of the best students I have put forward for engineering have been women, I just want them to know that it is their right to approach these subjects with every bit of confidence as the boys exude.’

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