Stepping into Manhood

The Stepping into Manhood programme is designed to support the students as they begin on their journey towards their first formal qualifications.

At St James we believe that boys need more time with the subjects they have chosen. That is why we teach the GCSE courses over three years. The depth and breadth of knowledge that can be gained is much greater than if we were rushing the students and simply ‘teaching to exams’.

The programme begins in January of Year 8, when parents and students are invited to a presentation on the step from Year 8 to GCSEs and how the students are supported. Over the following months, students and teachers will be discussing their potential subject choices; this will culminate with a Stepping into Manhood Morning in May, where the parents and students are invited to meet the subject teachers during an Open Morning style event. GCSE choices are finalised in June.

Their education doesn’t stop with their academic subjects: physicality, emotional intelligence and spirituality are developed too.

The physical programme opens up. Students in Year 9 have access to a huge array of sports and activities, with 32 ‘Friday Option’ choices available, as well as CCF and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Headmaster’s Philosophy lessons take place each week, nurturing emotional intelligence and spirituality, with the two main themes being: ‘What it Means to be a Man’ and later, ‘The Art of Harmonious Living’. A formal PSHE programme begins, taught by the Form Teacher, where students look at citizenship and diversity, while building close, supportive relationships with their Form Teacher and their classmates.

Character is nurtured through key events such as the Stepping into Manhood Formal Dinner (which the students attend with a significant male role model of their choice) and the ‘Walk the Nine’ challenge – a nine mile walk from Staines to Windsor.

Our aim is to develop a young man of character who is confident in himself and who is well on the way to realising his full potential – academically, physically, emotionally and socially.