Friday, 15 May 2015

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 15th May

The weather (and politics) seem to be the main topics of conversation over the past few days (I believe a tornado was spotted in Bridgwater last night, let alone in Westminster…). However, the weather was very kind to us last Sunday, and long may it continue, when the Head Master's XI took on the mighty 1st XI cricket team. It was a cracking game with plenty of drama and excitement but experience ultimately triumphed over youth. But it’s not all about the winning - it's the taking part that counts which is important and I am grateful to all those who participated and gave up their Sunday afternoon to play, support, umpire and serve teas – a wonderful community event and a great afternoon of cricket. And keeping with the sporting theme, we have seen our girls’ cricket teams triumph against the likes of King Edward’s, Bath and Millfield and our athletics teams competing at the highest level in the English Schools Track & Field Cup at Millfield School. This weekend also see our Equestrian Team take on the might of Stonar School at the Inter Schools One-Day Event and the Duke of Edinburgh expedition to Cranborne Chase with 47 eager adventurers hoping to complete their bronze award (hope the weather stays fine for them!). And of course there is our Boarding Open Morning on Saturday too. Plenty of quality opportunities for our students to get involved in and be challenged by which can only build character and resilience in the long run, qualities employers are always looking for. Personally, I believe that we should be continually challenging ourselves, both mentally and physically. Remaining in our comfort zones is an all too easy option and a culture of complacency could develop as a result.

Many of you will have noticed that whilst I was at the Boarding Schools’ Association (BSA) Conference last week in London, I took part in an abseil challenge for the charity Springboard which funds places for disadvantaged children in independent and state boarding schools – thank you for all your support in this (I made it down 100ft in one piece!) and to the Headmistress of Bruton School for Girls, Mrs Nicky Botterill – being continually challenged and being out of one’s comfort zone is a good thing. Whilst at the Conference, I had the opportunity to work with Sir Anthony Seldon (Master of Wellington College) in promoting state boarding and I look forward to more collaborations in the future which will undoubtedly provide further opportunities for our students. There is no doubt there are challenges facing the education sector – it’s high on the political agenda, and the conference was no different. But it is the purpose of education that matters more and I hope that we at Sexey's still teach the right values and the importance of both a moral stance and a respect for those who differ. So in hindsight perhaps, the abseil was worthwhile.

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