Friday, 27 November 2015

Head Master's Notes - 27th November 2015

I trust you all enjoyed the extended exeat last weekend. Our equestrian team were competing on the Sunday at the Team and Individual Show Jumping event organised by the South & West Wilts Pony Club and Isabelle Wilson, Jess Brewer and Georgia Silcox performed very well indeed. Myself and other colleagues were in Lancaster last weekend at the SBSA (State Boarding School Association) Annual Conference which was held at Royal Lancaster Grammar School, another successful state boarding school, on the edge of The Lake District. It was an excellent conference and we were inspired by the likes of Kevin Roberts, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi and Brian Ashton, the former England Rugby coach – both Old Lancaster Grammar boys – and learnt more about the ongoing work of the sector to provide more boarding places to vulnerable children from the edge of care. The state boarding sector continues to go from strength to strength and the news of a national funding formula for schools announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Spending Review can only support the outstanding work that we are doing as a sector.

Earlier this week I opened my mail in my study and I was surprised to find a Christmas Card in the middle of November! Firstly, I was surprised at the efficiency of the sender and secondly, it alerted me to the fact that we are just four Fridays away from Christmas. Is it me, or does Christmas seem to be arriving earlier every year?  The John Lewis ad (apparently this signals the start of Christmas), the annual battle of the supermarkets, Black Friday, the Sunday supplements teaching you ‘How to cook the perfect Turkey’ and a message from the Estates Manager asking about Christmas trees for the School and the Boarding Houses. So we are officially in the festive season, even though it is still only November - and this week we have seen a veritable feast of opportunities which have included cracking sporting fixtures against Monkton Coombe and Milton Abbey, the Y7s, 9s, 10s and 11s all reaching the County Hockey Finals, the ‘Boarders of the World’ disco last night celebrating diversity and culture in our school community, Sky Sports visit and preparations for Music Week. Of course, the Y11s had their Trial Exams all this week and well done to them on approaching these exams with great maturity and purpose – bodes well for the future. And alongside this, our own Christmas preparations are underway - I noticed the Christmas decorations coming out the school attic, the boarders putting up Christmas trees in their boarding houses; preparations are underway for the Christmas Concert on next Wednesday– do come along and join in the yuletide festivities, the annual Cross Country event next Friday, Christmas Lunch in the KDR, 6th Form Christmas Jumper Charity Day, the Christmas Shopping Evening on Bruton High Street, where the PSA will be in full force, Feast Night and of course, the Christmas Carol Service on the last day of term at St Mary’s, Bruton. This will round off the term and put everyone in the Christmas spirit, though some may already be spreading the Christmas cheer at School…

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