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A CARING ENVIRONMENT at the Orchard School


O


rchard Preparatory School for boys and girls is situated on the outskirts of a village in south Bedfordshire. Orchard has been established for 28


years and is located in beautiful surroundings of rolling countryside which hosts an abundance of wildlife and overlooks the Barton Hills (thought to be The Delectable Mountains in Pilgrim's Progress). The outdoor environment delivers the awe and wonder crucial to the Orchard experience.


The school's motto - “to be the best that you can be” - is reflected in all areas of school life. Orchard’s aim is to enable each child to value and strive for the highest levels of achievement, and to nurture a pride in success. Praise and encouragement are the primary motivational tools employed, tempered by the recognition that every child develops at their own pace. Skilful and careful observations are undertaken by the teaching team to help the children meet and surpass key learning targets. The school also encourages an ‘esprit de corps’ and a sense of true belonging. Emphasis is placed on nurturing the moral, social and personal development of all pupils which becomes embedded in the character of those pupils who pass through their doors and into the wider world. When one of their past pupils, at only sixteen, was diagnosed and subsequently successfully treated for


testicular cancer, the Orchard family looked for ways to thank Dr. Matthew Murray and his team at Addenbrookes Hospital for his excellent care and treatment. Ways were sought to support the unit’s important research into childhood cancers and thus, the annual Addenbrookes Fun Run was borne. Each year, pupils, families and staff take part in the event, secure in the knowledge they are helping to raise money which will contribute in the search for an eventual cure. This year’s Fun Run welcomed Dr. Murray as the guest of honour. He kindly agreed to open the school’s first-floor extension, which offers three new classrooms and facilities, and presided over the start of the kilometre distance circuits for an amazing number of sponsored competitors. The event provided a vivid snapshot of everything the school sets out to achieve, happiness, wellbeing, collaboration, cooperation, stamina, tenacity and the delight in the success of others.


Dr. Matthew Murray is a childhood cancer specialist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and a Lecturer at the University of Cambridge. He is also directly involved with research for improving diagnostic and disease monitoring approaches for solid tumours of childhood.


If you would like to know more about Orchard School and their caring environment, please call 01582 882054 or visit www.orchardschool.org.uk


www.countylifemagazines.co.uk


County Life 37


Dr. Matthew Murry


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