The yells, bells, crashes and bangs that resound around St. Edmundís on a Saturday morning are as teeth-rattling as they are any other day of the week, with one important difference. Saturday mornings at St. Edís are optional, and every child you see in on that day is there for one reason only: they want to be. With well over half the school in regular attendance every Saturday, thatís a remarkable endorsement of a brave innovation that the Headmaster introduced back in 2003: the results have been extraordinary.
Optional school is in recognition that the halcyon days of double science on a Saturday were no longer in step with current thinking. Family life has changed, with parents happy to surrender their children to the school for the working days of the week, but with the strong view that weekends should be a time for family and relaxation.
The great thing about Saturday is it means we can offer activities in much more depth than we could during the week. Whether it is horse-riding, scuba diving, model making, go-karting, shooting or cycling, the children have time to learn new skills. To see a child who may be struggling in class during the week then bake the best pizza in the group on a Saturday works wonders for their confidence.