Friday, 24 January 2014

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 24th January

The Secondary Schools League Tables were published this week and the results are very pleasing indeed. Our scores have been consistent over the years and rivals many of our competitor schools in the county. I cannot take any credit for this achievement and thank the previous administration for their sterling efforts – the new administration has a lot to live up to! There is still plenty of work to do and although the league tables give us an indication of school standards, I feel that they do not paint the whole picture about a school, particularly a special one like ours. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly care about these results, and celebrate the success of our pupils, but not exclusively. I believe education is about more than just grades; the published data doesn’t tell us about the character and quality of our school. Nor do they give a true reflection of the ethos and culture of our school – from the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer (art, music, drama and sport to name but a few) to growing up in a caring community. Personally, we need to be careful when looking at league tables in judging whether a school is successful or not when in reality a whole range of factors need to be considered before a judgement can be made. We will continue to strive to get the best out of our pupils but at the same time understanding what is important about education.

Remaining with that theme, congratulations to Jenny Paull (OS) and Miles Haines (OS) for completing their expedition (and all the paperwork) in the wilds of Borneo last summer with Camps International and to both Becky Rundle (13 GOL PC) and Harrison Minter (13 HOB PC) for successfully completing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh award. The latter two will be attending an awards ceremony hosted by Prince Philip at St James Palace in February. A tremendous effort by all involved and an experience which all of them will learn and draw from and will remain with them for many years to come. This is education.

I was asked to take a seat at break this morning as I was informed that England were on the brink of their first victory down under since arriving in Australia back in October last year for their Ashes campaign. They did end their losing streak winning by 57 runs. This series has certainly been a test for the England players and I hope they have been learnt much from their experience. Some good news to brighten up a somewhat cold, damp and dreary day. And the dull weather seems to be with us for the next week at least but that hasn’t dampened the spirits here. With fine wins against a strong Sherborne side in football yesterday (the U16 won 6-0) and the netball team going from strength to strength beating The Gryphon, the weather can continue as it is. As I conducted my Learning Walks this morning, in the rain, I was privileged to see students and colleagues in action – from understanding Gaia Theory in Geography, Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole in Science, measuring wavelengths in Physics and verb conjugation in Spanish. Rehearsals for the School musical next month were also taking place and I do urge to get your tickets! The Sexeian spirit of endeavour and drive are certainly evident in and around school.

And so the weekend beckons and with no let up from the weather in sight, there will be plenty of prep and assignments to complete, governors reports to write and of course the 5th and final ODI cricket match in Adelaide to watch. Thank goodness for small mercies

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