Friday, 21 April 2017

Headmaster's Weekly Notes - 21 April 2017

Welcome back to the start of the new summer term – a term traditionally when courses culminate in the taking of public exams, cricket, rounders and athletics form the major sports and the sun is supposed to shine – and unfortunately it isn’t. It’s good to be back at school and to get back into the swing of things after the Easter holidays and although the school is now in summer mode with regards uniform, the weather certainly doesn’t reflect that and it is forecast to get slightly colder. Please see below the school’s expectations with regards the summer dress code.

This weekend, thousands are donning their running shoes to take part in the London Marathon. Its Charity of the Year, Heads Together, aims to end the stigma around mental health and enable young people to talk freely about their issues and concerns. In school this week, we once again welcomed the Samaritans, who have been coming to talk to the whole school about ways in which our students can strengthen their emotional and mental wellbeing (this week they addressed Y10). They have also spent time with our Year 11s, providing them with tips and advice on dealing with examination and revision stress. Leaflets following those sessions are available in The Sanctuary or from Mrs Nurse.

Getting active is of course one very good way to improve mental health and I look forward to welcoming as many as possible to our own running event, the 5km Race for Life, at the Elm Field next Friday.  Meanwhile, our huge congratulations also go to the Year 8 Netball team who became County Champions after a gruelling final at Millfield yesterday – well done girls!

Staying on TRaK (Tolerance, Respect & Kindness) continues to be our drive this term with preparation for public examinations fully underway (the KS3 Summer exams take place early next month), and it is important that our students remain fully engaged and focussed. The pace and intensity has been relentless since we got back and I have been impressed with students’ work ethic, independence of thought and positive attitude in and around school, including the boarding houses, and I commend them for their sterling efforts.

With the PM calling a General Election on the 8th of June, which has caught many by surprise, the question of education funding still remains a hot topic of debate and I hope that the new Government, whatever colour it may be, puts education at the heart of its manifesto and will address this crucial area so that the futures of our children are protected and that schools up and down the country are not forced to take decisions that will ultimately harm the nature and ethos of what we are trying to do – provide our students with an all-round, holistic education that will give them the necessary skills to prepare them for the future.