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Ethos, Aims & Values

St Albans School enjoys an outstanding reputation as a vibrant and dynamic school, whose prime focus is the needs of its pupils for the world of the future.

Academic excellence, intellectual development and strong pastoral care lie at the core of an exceptional, all-round education, thus enabling us to identify and nurture each pupil’s potential and making us one of the leading day schools in the country.

We are a community which seeks to embody its ethos and traditions whilst striving for academic excellence within a warm, caring and inclusive atmosphere, with a real commitment to the extensive pastoral care provided to all. We provide depth and breadth to the holistic educational experience offered to our pupils to produce ambitious, well-rounded, happy and resilient individuals.

Our fundamental and unremitting focus on our pupils’ wellbeing gives them the self-confidence and self-belief to do, and to give of, their best.


Over seventeen hundred years ago Saint Alban, a seeker after truth, lived and died in this place. Today, more than one thousand years since its foundation, this School which bears his name continues to play an important role in the local community, fostering scholarship and intellectual enquiry at the heart of an exceptional holistic education. Enriched by inspirational teaching, wide-ranging academic, cultural and sporting opportunities and strong pastoral care our pupils develop a love of learning together with the values, skills and qualities to enable them to live successful and happy adult lives in an ever-changing world, faithful to the altruism of our motto - Non Nobis Nati (Born Not For Ourselves). 


To help each pupil flourish intellectually and personally, developing self-knowledge and self-confidence in order to find meaning and purpose in life.


To enhance the School’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading institutions for academic excellence at the heart of an exceptional holistic and value-rich education that develops intellectual, personal and interpersonal potential, and that is attractive to pupils, parents and staff.


We aim to deliver our ethos and values, realise our vision and achieve our goal by: 

  • Providing an education that inspires a love of learning and intellectual enquiry and enables pupils to develop independent, searching minds in fulfilling their academic potential;
  • Offering a broad, flexible and forward-looking curriculum which prepares pupils for success in academic and professional life and leadership roles, enabling pupils to experience a wide variety of sporting, cultural and other co-curricular activities in order to develop skills, interests, ambitions and potential beyond the classroom and the examined curriculum;
  • Providing teaching informed by excellent subject knowledge and high expectations, which stimulates and challenges pupils and fosters innovation, imagination, skill, articulacy and flair;
  • Supporting the development of metacognitive skills to enable pupils to manage and regulate their own learning and reflect on their performance and progress;
  • Attracting and retaining highly-qualified, talented and well-motivated staff who enjoy the responsibility of inspiring pupils in accordance with the School’s ethos, and investing in their professional training and development;
  • Providing a safe and welcoming environment underpinned by excellent pastoral care, supporting each pupil to be happy, feel valued as an individual and, with appropriate guidance and responsibilities, develop the self-confidence to become the adult they wish to be;
  • Fostering an environment that celebrates diversity and is inclusive of all, irrespective of race, gender, religion, sexuality, disability or background, founded on tolerance and consideration towards others;
  • Providing expert advice so that pupils are ready to derive the maximum benefit from their continuing education and are able to make informed choices about their future career, and working in partnership with parents to support pupils in their journey from childhood to adulthood, preparing them for their departure into the adult world;
  • Continuing the evolution of the School’s provision, striving for excellence in all aspects of its operations, instilling the highest standards of behaviour, manners, dress and speech, together with encouragement of pride in self and School to develop courteous, sociable and caring adults, and promoting the embodiment of the School’s values, in particular the importance of the ethos of service to others in living a fulfilling life;
  • Furthering the tradition and heritage arising from the School’s historic links with the Abbey and the City of St Albans, emphasising the importance to self and others of contributing to the community, both inside and outside the School, and ensuring that the wider community benefits from the work of the School, in particular through partnership projects with state-sector schools and wider outreach work;
  • Widening entry via means-tested bursaries, where possible, for local children with the potential to benefit from a St Albans School education; and exercising a careful and responsible stewardship of the School’s finances and facilities, ensuring the best-possible educational value.


In order to embody the School's motto, a St Albans School pupil is expected to demonstrate:

  • Integrity
  • Empathy and humility
  • Courtesy and generosity
  • Self-discipline and self-motivation
  • Organisation and collaboration
  • Ambition, courage and accountability
  • Independence, industry and inquisitiveness
  • Resilience, resourcefulness and reflectiveness