Commemoration Service and George Abbot Links
George Abbot School is named after George Abbot (1562 - 1633) who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1611 to 1633 and a translator of the King James version of the Bible.
Students joining George Abbot School in Year 7 attend a Commemoration Service at the Holy Trinity Church in Guildford during their first term, where they learn about the life and works of the Archbishop. This service is also attended by residents from Abbots Hospital in Guildford.
The Hospital of the Blessed Trinity, or Abbot's Hospital as it is better known today, was founded in 1619 by George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury as a gift "out of my love to the place of my birth". It was not Abbot's intention to provide a "hospital" in the modern sense of the word but a place of shelter for the elderly and the poor of the town.
At the end of the service a wreath is laid on the tomb of George Abbot in the Holy Trinity Church, and then cakes are delivered by students to Abbot’s Hospital for the residents to enjoy.
In December each year students and staff host a Christmas lunch for those living at Abbot’s Hospital. Guests are served a traditional Christmas dinner and enjoy music and singing provided by some of the students.
At the end of their time at George Abbot School, Year 13 students attend a Graduation Service back in the Holy Trinity Church; a fitting end to their studies and also their direct links to a school which is proud to be named after a man who contributed so much both to Guildford and his country.
George Abbot School has as its motto ‘Non sibi sed toti’ - ‘Not for oneself but for all’. It is not surprising then that the School takes seriously its duty to provide for the personal development of all students and to encourage them to become responsible citizens in their community and beyond.
The diagram below shows some of the opportunities the School provides for students to develop the personal skills and qualities necessary for them to play an active role in society, both whilst still at school and in the future.
'I have no doubt that completing Work Experience contributed to 92% of students achieving first choice university places last year. It is also an excellent opportunity for those considering employment post Sixth Form to gain work-based skills and valuable contacts in their field of interest.' Mr O’Sullivan, Director of Sixth Form.
Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme is a youth charity which gives young people aged 14-24 years the chance to develop skills for work and life.
There are three levels of Award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. At each level the participant undertakes an activity from each of the four sections: Volunteering, Expeditions, Skills and Physical. Participants set their own goals for each section and work with an independent assessor who support and monitor the participant’s progress. Participation is voluntary and non-competitive.
The key benefits of the award for the students are:
• Broadening their educational experiences through a range of valuable and challenging situations
• Improving social skills by relating to others in informal settings
• Demonstrating and developing key skills and using the skills learned to advance them in their working lives
• Developing constructive relationships with a wide range of individuals in their local community
• Expressing themselves with confidence and maturity
Due to the hard work and dedication of the staff at the school (in particular Mr Nathan Davis and Mrs Janet Pike) the award scheme has grown from humble beginnings to a large and successful operating unit providing students with an opportunity to undertake Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards with the same organisation.
Given the 14 years of age constraint set by the scheme our students are first able to participate in an award either in Year 9 or Year 10. Each year we have approximately 140 participants in the Bronze Award, 50 in the Silver Award and 30 in the Gold Award. Each level of the award involves a practice and assessment expedition: Bronze takes place on the North Downs and Wiltshire Downs, Silver in the New Forest and Exmoor and the Gold Award in Snowdonia and on Dartmoor.
Thirty Peer Mentors are appointed at George Abbot School each year, fifteen Year 12 students and fifteen Year 10 students. Some Mentors continue their role into a second year.
All volunteers have training for their role and work with the Heads of Year and the Peer Mentor Leader to support younger students.
Their role is considered to make a very important contribution to the culture of George Abbot School and their work is greatly valued. They enjoy their role and below are just some of their comments:
‘I feel my work is important and have enjoyed it 100%. It is important to provide support and advice. Without a mentor a mentee could feel vulnerable, especially if they lack understanding of the educational system.’
‘I have felt that my mentee looks forward to spending time with me and I have enjoyed doing it.’
‘I have enjoyed my work, I think it’s started to help and we have developed a relationship in which my mentee feels comfortable with me.’
‘It’s a very good experience, I really like my role and helping my mentee with problems.’
I have enjoyed being a mentor, it is great fun getting to interact with the younger years.’
‘I have felt that talking to my mentee has helped them to be themselves and to realise that they don’t need to act ‘cool’. I think it has made my mentee think more about GCSE options’.
‘I’ve liked working with my mentee and she deserves this extra time. It has been important for me and for her.’