Q&A fact file: St Lawrence College



How many international students does your school have?

Founded in 1879, St Lawrence is a thriving boarding and day school, providing a first class education for boys and girls from the age of 3 to 18 year.  We are home to 650 boarding and day pupils from local, UK and international families, and welcoming boarders from 7 years of age.  We are very lucky here at St Lawrence College to have supported children from all over the world as we have over 48 families who are in the Armed Forces so live outside the UK.  Around 70 of our pupils are international and represent over 23 different countries.  We support and celebrate different cultures, faiths and individuality.  We have an outstanding EAL (English Support) Department who are able to support the pupils whose first language is not English, both academically and socially, by additional lessons.  All the staff at St Lawrence ensure that each child has the individual attention they need, fitting into a UK Boarding School.

Who does my child go to if they are upset or home sick?

We have an extremely strong network in place for every child at St Lawrence College.  Depending on when, or more likely if, they are upset or home sick would depend on who is there.  If they are in their boarding house then they would have other children around them to comfort them and support them, but the Houseparents, Tutors, Teachers and other members of the Boarding House are there at all times to help them so they are never alone.  If they are feeling upset in a class, or on the games pitch then the Teachers and Coaches are there to give them all the help and support they need.  Every pupil has a ‘buddy’ both in the Boarding House as well as in the Classroom so the children are never alone if they need someone to talk to!

Has your policy on Exeats and half term holidays changed permanently after the pandemic?

At St Lawrence we have always had the same policy regarding Exeat weekends.  Being a full boarding school, with Saturday school it means that everyone is on campus 6 days out of 7 and boarding and day pupils are together.  Boarders on a Sunday have endless activities, trips out of School etc.  On an Exeat weekend it just means that Saturday lessons don’t happen (there are 2 exeat weekends in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, one either side of half term) so we have activities, trips and lots of other exciting things to do over a weekend without any academic work to worry about.  Boarders can stay at School over Exeat weekends or go home if they wish, the choice is theirs.  Half Terms at the moment, during the pandemic, are again optional and children can stay at St Lawrence and take part in a Camp which is run by a third party provider.  We continue to monitor the situation and children will have an option as to whether they go home or go to a relation or guardian, or participate in a camp.

Can you be sure my child will get into a good university when they have missed so much school this year?

We are very lucky here at St Lawrence because we do not believe that our pupils have missed out this year on anything other than the social side of being in a boarding school.  Academic lessons have continued in the classroom but virtually, sport has continued online as have Assemblies, Chapel services and activities.  Each and every child has been supported both academically and mentally so we are extremely proud of the offers we have had for many of our pupils in Upper Sixth.  Being a non-selective school with mixed ability children it is so important that they go on to do great things that interest them – whether this is to Oxford, Durham, UCL or even Acting School our pupils have achieved their goals of getting offers to Universities they want to go to.

My child doesn’t like sports, what else do you offer?

Being a full boarding school and having everyone on one campus enables children to try so many different sports and activities.  Whether they are a brilliant sports person and in the Elite Performance Squad for a particular sport or in a 5th Team it is all about individuals.  Team sport is part of everyday life in a Boarding School and it is about encourage them to be part of a Team and joining together to not only have fun but to work together to be active and inspire each other.  This is a key part of growing up at St Lawrence, not just providing the opportunities but to encourage children to try different things.

We have the most amazing Science, Art and Design Technology Centre with 4 floors of natural light in a beautiful modern glass building, so if Art and/or Design is your thing then you can use these rooms outside class.   We also have a 500 seater Theatre where Music and Drama thrive through competitions, productions, concerts, orchestras etc.  We have a dance studio where pupils do ballet, modern jazz, hip-hop.  With a wide range of activities to choose from our pupils can get involved so so many other things.  So whether a child is sporty, musical, and arty or just wants a variety of things to do St Lawrence is definitely the place to come.

What makes your school special?

This is such a difficult question to answer as we, at St Lawrence, believe that we are unique.  We offer children so many opportunities, we are 1 hour from the centre of London, surrounded by sand and sea!  Why are we different, because we can be – our entire world is resolved around the children and making their education fun, dynamic, supportive, engaging and right for them.  St Lawrence is one of the founding schools in the World to have achieved a High Performance Learning status.  This is an outstanding achievement for the recognition of what we offer here at St Lawrence, being a World Class School.  We stand out as a school which focuses on each individual’s requirement and we ensure that the building blocks are put into place so that everyone can achieve something and reach their own individual goals through a series of steps.  Community, home from home, second family are all mentioned by families who know us here.  It isn’t just the amazing facilities but the school was founded on a Christian ethos which makes a special environment for children to grow and develop.

The questions were answered by Tessa Howard-Vyse – Director of Marketing, Admissions and Development