The Abbey Big Conversation


The school is launching a brand new initiative titled ‘The Abbey Big Conversation’. It is a programme of talks, surveys, events and discussions intended to bring our community closer together than ever and let us share plans, thinking and ideas.

This community comprises remarkable individuals. Our goal is to equip each one of our wonderfully diverse students to live with confidence, purpose and joy. One way to do that is to bring our different individuals together to build up a body that is more than the sum of its parts: to create unity and fellowship, a sense of common goals, a sense of shared ideas and shared belonging. Above all that is what the Big Conversation is designed to achieve.

A host of activities will come under the Big Conversation umbrella including:

Heads’ Breakfasts

These give an opportunity for groups of parents from a particular student age range to drop in for a coffee or tea and a pastry. No speeches, bar a brief welcome. No set agenda. Ask questions and share ideas with senior staff and have a chance to say hello to each other, too!

The Abbey IP Parent Talks

We are in the early days of setting up our Abbey IP (Ideas + Passion) programme: celebrating enrichment, extension, fresh thinking and curiosity, free from the constraints of any syllabus.

The Abbey IP might take place in any lesson or club for students, and we want parents to have the opportunity to join in too. Abbey IP Parent Talks will range from useful information for one age range – an interactive workshop at the Junior School, an advice session for parents of early teenagers at the Senior School, a chat about the IB Diploma Programme for parents of those doing GCSEs – through to talks to which the whole community is invited to come and hear ideas and get inspired. Abbey staff and external speakers will share thinking, prompt debate and celebrate lifelong learning.

Parent Survey

The survey will focus on three key questions:

  • What are the strengths of The Abbey and what do different members of our community value the most?
  • Where and how can The Abbey improve?
  • How can we work together, in partnership, with mutual benefits?

In addition there will be a key focus on student wellbeing. How can we best support all students through their learning journey and help them go out into the world, ready to face up to change and challenge?

Other Big Conversations

We are also launching elements of the Big Conversation with other parts of our community. For example, we’ve conducted a series of listening exercises with our alumnae to help us shape what we offer to what they need. We’re also in touch with primary and prep schools, to hear from them about their students and ensure a healthy dialogue is in place.

As with all good conversations: our goal is thoughtful dialogue, plenty of listening, plenty of learning – and an enjoyable and interesting experience on both sides. We look forward to speaking!

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