Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 25th April

Welcome to the new Trinity Term – a term traditionally when courses culminate in the taking of public exams, cricket and athletics are the major sports and the sun is supposed to be shining…where has the sun gone, I hear you ask, that we had over the Easter holiday and I’ve been asking myself that question as the new term started! However, it’s great to be back at school and to see the students in their summer uniform (pity the summer hasn’t quite turned up just yet – but we can only hope) and to get back into the swing of things. Over the Easter holiday the MFL department had a successful trip to Paris where the students immersed themselves in Parisian culture and practised conversational French.  It was lovely to receive a postcard from them, in French and to hear about the goings on. Learning a foreign language is useful in so many ways, as the staff learnt in their Inset on Tuesday.

It was a real privilege to watch the first cricket fixture of the season take place yesterday on the Elm Field with the 1st XI taking on the might of Clayesmore. To hear the sound of leather on willow is music to my ears and the 1st XI were in fine form indeed as you’ll read below. And there is more cricket to come this season - so long as the weather holds. Tomorrow we take on Warminster School with the 1st XI playing at home and the U14s away – do please come along and support the team if you can; bring along a picnic and an umbrella, just in case. The first ball will be bowled at noon. This weekend also sees the Triathlon team taking part in the Iron Man Contest, the Equestrian Team at St Mary’s, Calne Show Jumping Competition (a qualifier for the national championships) and the Motor Sports Team at the regional finals at Thruxton Circuit in Andover, Hampshire. Needless to say, I will be doing a lot of driving on Sunday, but rest assured well within the national speed limits.

The students have literally thrown themselves back into school life since coming back on Wednesday with the Junior & Intermediate Inter House Swimming Gala being the focus yesterday – I can see why Michael Phelps wants to come back from retirement. The Senior event takes place next week and will contribute to the Bint Shield – the coveted House prize, which I believe is very close indeed and could go down to the wire on Sports Day, much like this season’s Premier League.

And with exams not far away for our Y11s, Y12s and Y13s, it was good for them to take some time out from their busy revision schedules and listen to Professor Matthew Wills from the University of Bath speak last night on the subject of ‘What is the Evidence for Evolution’. A fascinating talk where Professor Wills took us through the ages and various theories and discussed the conflict that still exists between religion and science and religion. The lecture was well supported by parents and students, who asked some searching philosophical questions at the end of the lecture; we are looking to book next year’s lecture – watch this space!

So with enrichment activities in Maths taking place today and Business Studies on Wednesday, GCSE Drama productions taking place this evening, A-level and GCSE revision sessions and sporting fixtures, it’s like we have never had a holiday. Have we really only been back three days?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Head Master's End of Term Notes - 4th April

So a busy end of term approaches as I grab a few minutes to write this, in between signing Y11 shirts and another parental visit; for example, this week alone we saw the Mothering Sunday service for the school and the community at St Mary’s, Bruton; the whole school Achievement Assembly where Boarding and Y10 prefects were announced; the County U15 Netball finals where are girls’ came 4th – an outstanding achievement; the St Cecelia’s Spring Concert with an eclectic array of performances to suit all tastes from the Wind Band to the Pop Choir to stunning solo performances – impressive to say the least;  numerous football matches against Bristol Grammar School and Wells Blue (thanks to the weather) and the Paris Trip which left at the crack of dawn yesterday with a group of excited students eager to test out their French and immerse themselves into Parisian culture – do follow their exploits on Twitter; I hear the weather there is hot! This is a fair reflection of exactly what we want at Sexey’s: a busy school. One where students are engaged, thriving and taking advantage of the numerous opportunities on offer. With over 100 football, netball and rugby matches combined this term alone (to name just three sports) the levels of participation have certainly increased in the school and I thank you for your continued support. However, contrary to popular belief, I am not banning the age old tradition of ‘Squares’ at Sexey’s and building a pagoda in the quadrangle to practice Tai-Chi…

And so the Lent term comes to an end and I hope these weekly emails have kept you abreast of all things Sexey’s. Whilst the Y11 students sport their colourful hoodies and have their shirts signed, it’s great to see the camaraderie amongst the students enjoying themselves at school and learning valuable life lessons about the importance of community and friendship. As ever, it is of course a crucial period for our exam candidates to undertake effective revision; I know I do not need to remind them of the importance of consistent and effective hard work over the weeks ahead and we will support them through the tough exam season. I wish them well in their endeavours and preparations and my sincere thanks go to the staff who go that extra mile to ensure that provision and care at Sexey’s is second to none.

I wish you all a peaceful Easter and a well-deserved rest and I do hope that I can put away my wellies and brolly….