Perse School Cambridge review by University of Oxford student. There are a great many outstanding teachers at the Perse who take it upon themselves not just to tick boxes and pass exams, but to inspire the pupils and instill in them a desire for knowledge. While in certain subjects there appears to be an emphasis on teachers' academic prowess rather than on teaching ability, all teachers are competent and many exceptional. Many teachers link their teaching with the school's ethos of integrity and create a climate of respect both towards teachers and between pupils. Naturally, teaching styles and levels of discipline vary between classes but the best teachers create a classroom atmosphere not based upon fear of discipline but upon certain dynamic between teacher and pupils which is highly inducive to both enthusiasm and learning. The Perse is not just an exam factory, though its academic record speaks for itself, it is much more than that, for many teachers the primary aim is not to produce exam statistics, but rather to produce gentlemen.
Despite vast expansion in recent years, the Perse maintains a pleasant aesthetical feel with large grounds and areas of trees and grass. The school is well set back from the main roads providing a sheltered, bubble like existence. The Perse boasts a great range of facilities, from well kept science labs to new sports facilities and language blocks. There is a well used lecture theatre for plays, talks and musical events and students are encouraged to participate. As with all schools dealing with privileged teenaged boys, there is a camaraderie that is sometimes beneficial and sometimes disruptive. However, in nearly all cases teachers are more than capable to controlling immature behaviour in the class and bullying, although inevitably happens from time to time, is absolutely not tolerated and pupils have been expelled in the past for this.
The opportunities for extracurricular activities are outstanding and increase as pupils progress through the school. While sports in the lower years are compulsory, by the time Sixth Form is reached, candidates can chose their sports from a wide range of options including rock climbing, horse riding, shooting, golf and cross country running. Perhaps the greatest opportunity for extracurricular activities comes from the Combined Cadet Force offering opportunities from Adventurous Training Weeks to Parachuting and Scuba Diving. Cadets is not compulsory and pupils can chose instead to participate in community service schemes ranging from environmental programs to helping in old peoples homes. The Venture Scouts, although now disbanded and formed into an Exploration Unit has a strong tradition of travel and mountaineering with yearly summer expeditions to places as far a field as Austria, Kenya, Iceland and Ecuador. In addition there are opportunities to travel to Greece and Italy throughout the school on annual classics trips as well as occasional geography and history trips. Each term there is a field day where CCF cadets go on exercise and the rest of the school make academically linked trips to museums, theatres and places of historical interest. In addition there are a range of music groups and orchestras for muscicians of all abilities.