The Deputy Head (Pastoral) is Ms Carolyn Rhind and she is responsible for the overall welfare of all the students in the school. Ms Rhind is available to discuss any issue or concern parents or prospective parents may have.
Everyone who visits Chetham's comments on the warm and friendly atmosphere and the real sense of community within the School. This undoubtedly grows from the fact that Chetham's is 'home' as well as 'School' to two thirds of our students. Living at Chets is a happy, busy and enjoyable experience. The overriding expectation is that every student treats everyone else as they would expect to be treated themselves. Chetham's is a School which attracts students from across the UK and the world, and our students develop a natural awareness and tolerance of different views, beliefs and cultures.
Your house, your home
Boarding students live in one of the Houses which is their home during term time. There are three boarding houses: Victoria House, Girls' House and Boys' House. Each House has a House Parent who is responsible for the students' welfare and happiness whilst at School and plays the role the parent would play at home. They are always available to sort out any problems or just for a chat. The House Parent is also the parents' first point of contact for any issue and as a school we encourage regular contact from parents.
"Since I arrived as a chorister aged just eight, I have never stopped being overwhelmed by the constant amount of support and care shown by both staff and students towards one another, and it really is no overestimate to say that this school at the very least is both my home and somewhere that I will always cherish."
- Sam Davies, Lower 6th Form
Victoria House is mixed and accommodates approximately 30, 8-12 year olds.
It may be hard, as a parent, to envisage leaving your small child in the hands of strangers but our juniors have a whale of a time. Victoria House has a very dedicated team of House staff led by the House Parents Mr Gareth Taylor , the Deputy Head of House Mr Sean Merrett and four resident House Assistants all of whom give of their time freely and willingly. There is a rota of official duty times but all staff realise that with such young children there will always be times when they are needed and thus most staff are available most of the time.
The juniors are always very busy in the daytime with academic lessons, music lessons, master classes, performance classes, practice, lunchtime concerts and rehearsals so that they don't have time to realise that they might be homesick! In the evenings there is such a range of activities to choose from: swimming, circuit training, going to the gym, fencing, dance, aerobics, trampolining, plus a different activity arranged in the House every night: games of Twister (always very popular), Scalextric, computer games, dance mat, board games to name a few that they are all too busy enjoying their free time with their friends to think about anything else!
"Teachers are approachable, and house staff are always ready to have a chat and a cup of tea if you're experiencing stress or worry. I've felt wonderfully looked after and completely at home at Chet's, and would hope that any new student feels the same way."
- Robin Tait, Lower 6th Form
The Senior Houses: Girls' House and Boys' House
Girls' House accommodates all girls, aged 12-18.
Boys' House accommodates all boys, aged 12-18.
Our Seniors are kept equally busy with their full academic and music programmes to fit into the week. It is undoubtedly hard to leave home and come away to study at a specialist school. Students will inevitably doubt their abilities and wonder if they are really good enough to be here. But it is an extremely warm and welcoming school; everyone remembers what it is like to arrive new and everyone, students and staff alike, are always ready to look out for each other and offer a listening ear if necessary. There are always at least 3 members of staff on duty in the boarding houses in the evenings so there are always plenty of people to talk to and the difference between this and an ordinary school is that everyone is here for the same reason. This means that all the students here have the same interests in common making it really easy for everyone to settle in quickly and make new friends. This in turn means that the atmosphere as a whole is extremely positive and enthusiastic making it a wonderful place to live, work and study.
Girls' House is run by Mrs India Merrett with her deputy Miss Paula Wilson and four resident house assistants. Boys House is run by Mr Jonathan Runswick Cole with his deputy Mr Christian Muller and four resident house assistants.
House Parents are in loco parentis. They are responsible for the students' overall welfare. They recognise that it can be difficult for some parents to relinquish the day to day involvement that they would have with their children if they were still at home and are always happy therefore to be contacted to discuss a student's progress. House Parents at Chetham's like to keep in close contact with parents and will ensure that they are fully involved with their child's progress throughout the school. There is always either the Head of House or the Deputy Head of House on duty at any one time.
Students in Forms 3 to 5 in the senior Houses will generally be in rooms of four whilst students in the 6th Form have double or single rooms.
Weekends and free time
During the week students in forms 2 and upwards are allowed out into town during their free time (lunchtimes and 4.30-5.30pm). Younger students can go out if they are accompanied by an older student.
6th Form students are allowed out in the evenings from 8.30-10.00pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and until 10.30pm on Saturday evenings and 9.00pm on Sunday evenings.
Saturday mornings are dedicated to music - orchestral rehearsals, ensemble work or practice. Saturday afternoons and Sundays are free and younger students can enjoy a great range of activities from cookery classes to treasure hunts, whilst older students usually prefer to manage their own time with friends. On Sundays there are also opportunities for students to attend a place of worship of their own choice in Manchester. The recreation department also organise some sort of activity or trip (mountain biking, skiing at the Chill Factor, climbing etc.) every other Sunday.
Exploring the city centre
Students enjoy the culture on Chets' doorstep and the opportunities the city offers on a daily basis. In Manchester, there is excellent shopping and numerous art galleries, cinemas, theatres and concert venues to experience. Younger students are taken out shopping by their older peers and go on trips organised by house staff to places of interest every weekend.
Throughout their time at Chetham's each student has a personal Tutor assigned to them who will be a member of either the music, academic or pastoral staff. The Tutor should be someone to whom students can turn for help and advice, should the need arise. The Tutor is responsible for the student's general progress in both music and academic subjects. He/she works closely with House Parents as a member of the House team and will arrange to meet regularly (at least once a week), sometimes just for a chat to see how things are going, and at other times for the more formal process of Tutor Card and Profile writing. The Tutor can help in many ways: by being a listening ear, by helping to solve practical problems and communicating with other members of staff, by overseeing the balance of the student's timetable, by picking up and dealing with problems before they become major issues, and also by sharing in the student's joys and successes at Chetham's.
Every student whose parents do not live on mainland UK needs a guardian situated within a reasonable travelling distance from Manchester.
Breaks of Term
All students must leave the School during the breaks of term. This includes Free Weekends, which take place at about the quarter-term point, and half-term holidays. Free Weekends commence at 3.30 pm on the Friday afternoon and students should return on the Sunday after 5.30 pm and before 9.00 pm.
Health Care Provision
The Medical Centre consists of a team of four nurses managed by the Head School Nurse, Kate Scott, who cover the medical centre 24 hours a day 7 days a week. There is also an appointment chaperone, the School Medical Officer Dr J Tankel, an Assistant GP, a chartered psychologist, a visiting physiotherapist and a school counsellor. The Medical Centre Team aims to provide a friendly and confidential environment, where students can come to talk freely and seek advice and support. Health promotion is paramount ensuring the students are well informed to make good lifestyle choices. Alexander Technique lessons are also provided in School one day a week on a group and/or one to one basis and all students are encouraged to attend regular sessions. The aim of this is to learn methods of preventing muscular-skeletal problems occurring.
We run a system for Victoria House students whereby Sixth Form students volunteer to be the "guardian angel" of one of the younger students. The guardian angels tend to take their charges out into town from time to time if they want to go shopping, buy them small treats, look after them if they are homesick and just generally look out for them around school and make sure they are OK. This has been a really successful scheme which we have been running for many years. Both the younger and the older students really appreciate the chance to develop these relationships.