Shells: the first year at St Edward’s

When we first welcome pupils to St Edward’s, we take the time to introduce them to the fundamental elements of The Teddies Curriculum, based on skills such as collaboration, presentation and communication. These key ways of working underpin their development as learners throughout their time at school and beyond, and we are fortunate to have The Christie Centre, an outstanding new academic building, that is specially designed for the way in which our pupils learn today. 

Metacognition, an understanding of how learning happens, is another central aspect of the Teddies Curriculum, with the aim that our Shells feel in control of their learning, in class and in prep (homework), understand how they respond to challenge and are motivated to develop as learners.

The academic curriculum in the Shells is broad and challenging and is designed to encourage all pupils to embrace learning in a wide variety of contexts, to open doors to a range of future paths, and, perhaps, to discover strengths they did not know they had! All pupils take Maths, English, the three Sciences, Geography, History, Religious Education, two Modern Foreign Languages, Classics (including Latin), Art and Ceramics, Design Technology, Drama, Music, Physical Education and Personal, Social and Health Education. Ancient Greek is also available, both ab initio and for those who have studied it before.

The extra-curricular programme for Shells takes place on three afternoons a week following lessons and sport. There is so much for new pupils to get involved in – activities range from rowing to chess, bee-keeping to golf and many more. Pupils are encouraged to try new activities, enriching their lives here and getting to know even more of their year group.

The Shells at St Edward’s soon become used to our busy, purposeful and, above all, happy community.

“They make it very enjoyable as there is always something going on so we are never bored.”


Our main initial focus is of course to ensure that our new Shells quickly feel at home and establish friendships. Support from older girls and boys in their Houses is key as is daily contact with Matrons, House staff and their Tutors. Mentoring in small groups with Lower Sixth pupils from across the School allows more time for discussion and modelling of Teddies values, such as kindness and courage.

Click on the image below to see the Shell Guide, which our youngest pupils help us write each year to give those starting at St Edward’s all the information they need from the Shell perspective.

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