King Edward VI is a proudly comprehensive school of some 1650 students. Since being established in 1550 by Edward VI we have been ‘Schola Buriensis’ – the school of Bury.
Our school environment helps our students to feel confident, and this springs from them being nurtured. We provide meaningful and exciting opportunities for all our students, regardless of their background. They discover new skills, feel happy, and, ultimately, achieve more than they thought they could.
Our Christian character is central to this. We prepare our young people to take their place as global citizens in a world which is diverse, challenging, and occasionally frightening. It is also full of optimism, especially for the young, and we have a duty to help them to be ready to take their place in making the world better, fairer, and safer.
In our assemblies, in which Year 7 students sit alongside Year 13 students, we emphasise that they are the future custodians of the planet who will need a strong sense of who they are, what they believe in, and how they will act in the interests of people and places beyond themselves and their own.
We are outward-looking and hold on tightly to our international links. These keep us relevant and aware, and they discourage us from complacency. We help our students to understand our culture, by referring to our Christian traditions, and to see how it fits alongside many others. Our much-admired partnership with the Yangjing-Juyuan Experimental School, Shanghai, is in its tenth year; we were the first school to take students to Iraq; we are also linked with schools in Rwanda, Portugal, Belgium, Nepal, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Finland.
In all of this we explore faith, politics, ethics, the differences and similarities between people, the art and music that has, and will, define us, the sense of what being a modern human entails. Helping our students to develop strong, personal and coherent value systems is integral to the way we prepare them. We do this through tutor-group activities, assemblies, our Personal Development Programme, our demonstrable commitment to charitable work, the way we, the adults who teach them, conduct ourselves and through our various social media streams.
We have a distinctive and evolving Christian ethos which provides an excellent framework for the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of our young people. We were delighted to be judged as an ‘Outstanding’ Church of England school, following our SIAMS inspection. This continues to mean a great deal to us. We believe that Church of England schools like ours should be about both tradition – knowing the terminology of the Christian seasons, spending time in church, knowing why faith matters and knowing ways in which to express our faith– and about innovation, finding new ways to engage young people, to provoke them beyond the superficialities of a consumer culture, to help them to reflect on who they are and what they believe, and to inculcate a strong value system.
Debating is at the heart of our work – the ability to reflect, analyse, express, argue, listen, change our minds, and to be humble is invaluable. Our students are encouraged to think precisely and with discipline. They tackle the big issues from which, as a society, we cannot and must not shy away.
The world needs more people with exceptional leadership skills – individuals who can analyse what’s needed, take decisions, and are driven by a deep sense of what’s right and wrong. Leadership is one of our core activities. Our Head Boy and Head Girl team, our School Council, our Year 11 Leaders and every single student who steps up to individual responsibility, are more than mere figureheads; they lead the student body and represent our school at public occasions with integrity and finesse.
Our distinctive six Colleges bring students together in mixed-age tutor groups with a host of leadership opportunities for all. Leadership shows in assemblies, in lessons, on the sports field, in our charity work, and in the deep-rooted way that our older students take responsibility to serve as role models to younger ones.
As well as being a Church of England Voluntary Controlled school, we are part of many other partnerships. Much energy goes into ensuring the smooth transition of our students, from their first year in primary school, through to when they leave us as young adults. We lead the Bury Schools Partnership and, in doing so, provide opportunities for informative and enjoyable collaborative work between young people of all ages in the arts, sports and sciences.
So this is us – a truly comprehensive school with Christian values at our heart, and a thorough track record of celebrating the achievements, the successes and the distinctiveness of every one of our young people, both within and beyond the classroom.