It was inevitable that after England’s disastrous Ashes whitewash down under this winter, that there would be casualties. The first is coach Andy Flower, who took England to three Ashes wins, a World Twenty20 title and established England as the top test side in the world. He has stood down as of today. It’s the end of a golden era in England cricket and I think Flower should have stayed at the helm. Is cricket becoming more and more like football, after one disastrous result, it’s out with the manager and in with a new one? Are we going to see a number of coaches in as many tests? That’s a topic of debate for another day but only time will tell if this indeed is the correct decision and I hope that a detailed forensic analysis of the team’s performance is made and the opportunity is used to bring about change to build a new team over the coming years – from grass root levels, to the quality of coaching in schools to the depth and breadth at County level – all of these areas need looking at and addressing with a view of sustainable development and improvement within the sport. I hope to further develop cricket here at Sexey’s giving our pupils the opportunity to play and represent the school in numerous fixtures when the season kicks off in the summer - that’s if we get a summer! The rain has put a slight dampener on the numerous school football and netball matches that were scheduled to take place in and around the County and I hope these are reorganised when the weather clears up. The U13 Girls’ Cricket competition took place at Westfield earlier this week and our team, having beaten Westfield and Sexey’s ‘B’, lost in the final to Millfield Prep – a tremendous effort (and opportunity) for all involved.
Opportunities in life are important to develop experience and to learn new skills, whether it is travelling to Zambia on the exchange this summer to learn about the country’s culture and its people, or attending Maths enrichment lectures (and there have been two in the past week alone) to understand maths and its application in a different context. We strive to provide as many opportunities for our pupils and it’s up to them to seize these opportunities and make the most of what is on offer at School; because once it’s gone, it’s gone. The Air Training Corps (ATC) were recruiting this week in the Main Hall and it provides opportunities for cadets to take part in a number of exciting activities – from flying and gliding, to shooting and archery and, adventure training camps in the UK and Cyprus. The unit is being headed up by a new team of officers bristling with ideas on how to take the Corps forward and I strongly suggest that your son/daughter takes up the opportunity. We were also very fortunate to welcome Jacob Rees-Mogg, the MP for North East Somerset, who gave an impromptu Q&A session in a Government and Politics lesson to our Y12 students this afternoon - it certainly added a new dimension to the lesson and brought politics to life for the Y12s. Again, an opportunity and it was interesting speaking to Jacob, who is a self-confessed Tory rebel, on his views on immigration, UKIP and Europe, the American constitution and the General Election in 2015. The Y12 students were impressed with his openness and honesty and he was equally impressed with their sharpness and their searching questions. Jacob is also a keen cricketer and an avid supporter of Somerset CCC so I am sure we will find him on our boundary come the summer!
The School Musical ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ takes place next week (Weds 5 – Fri 7 Feb) and we were given a sneak preview in assembly of one of its catchy numbers (‘I Am Not Smart’ – quite ironic to say the least) – it certainly looks a lot of fun and I do urge you to buy your tickets and support the students and staff in their efforts – you may learn a few new words and it’s an opportunity not to be missed! Keeping on the musical theme, the Spiral of Light Festival will be taking place at the iconic Dovecotetomorrow afternoon (4-7pm) and three Sexeians - Rosie Perrett (11 GOL ES), Daniel Higginson (11 KNI RK) and Callum Oliphant (11 GOL DB) will be representing the School and performing their eclectic mix of contemporary and classical music at this wonderful community event. Do come along and hear them play.
As I look out of my study window and see the school flag proudly flying in the force ten gale and with no sign of the torrential rain letting up (my thoughts go out to our neighbours who live on the Somerset Levels), I will be turning my attention to the Six Nations Rugby which kicks off tomorrow with Wales vs Italy and France vs England. Our very own England vs Ireland match takes place on the Elm Field tomorrow at 1030which I hope you will be able to come along and support – do bring along your umbrella and wellies though. We will be hosting a touring U15 Irish side from the Catholic University College in Dublin who will take on our U15s and it will be my personal curtain raiser for the 6 Nations tournament. Let’s hope England can do something with this ball.