Friday, 30 June 2017

Headmaster's Weekly Notes - 30 June 2017

Arts, Music and Drama are thriving this week at Sexey’s as set up for the whole school musical, Bugsy Malone, is currently well underway. I hope to see you there Wednesday – Friday next week (tickets available at Reception).  This week has also seen the End of School Art and Photography Showcase, when we welcomed parents, friends, and colleagues from the neighbouring schools to view the outstanding final pieces produced by our artists in Years 10-13. Well done to all of you for some superb artwork, described as “inspiring” by a visiting Head of Art. Congratulations also go to those students involved in the Trinity Guildhall Speech and Drama Showcase – what superb talent we have in school.

Our Year 7s have departed for a Science trip to @Bristol today and we look forward to hearing more about their visit on their return – please keep an eye out for updates on the school news pages (from the homepage) and twitter (@SexeysSchool).

We were happy to welcome some of our new students this week as the Sixth Form Induction and SEND Transition Day went ahead. The school was buzzing with a renewed energy – as it does every year at this time – and we look forward to welcoming our new joiners back again in September. Of course this also means that we bid a fond farewell to some of our current Year 11s, with whom we celebrated this week at their Leaver’s Prom at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. Thank you to our hosts and all of the organisers for a truly fantastic evening. Photos can be viewed (and I understand, purchased) here Prom Photographs.

Our Sports Department has once again been busy with Athletics fixtures (well done to Maddy Britton and Josh Carr for winning their 100m sprints, and to the Y10 boys who won the Area Athletics Competition), Rounders (well done to the Y8 ladies team who also won a Rounders Area final tournament), and several cricket matches this week, including an U14A match against Wells Cathedral School and U13A vs Dauntsey’s. These matches can be followed via the twitter feed

A very special congratulations must also go to Sixth Former Georgia Silcox, who has been invited to trial for Great Britain in the triple jump – our very best luck to Georgia as she prepares for that.

Once again a very big thank you to our Parent Staff Association who met last night to discuss the department bids and distributed a great deal of funds to support our school. It is all hugely appreciated.

And finally, this weekend we wish our boarders well as they head off on trips to Studland in Dorset and the New Forest in Hampshire, to those students and staff who will be rehearsing for next week’s production of Bugsy and to the Sexey’s All Star Cricket XI who will be taking on a touring side from Cambridge on Saturday afternoon.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Headmaster's Weekly Notes - 16 June 2017

I have been struck this week by the strength of community shown in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in West London. It is a reminder of our shared humanity – a lesson that as a school we will be taking forward into our work around National Refugee Week next week. I hope through education and our values of tolerance, respect and kindness, we all work to make our communities better places for us all.

There was certainly a strong sense of community at today’s Year 11 Leaver’s Service and barbeque. As I gave my address and looked out across the sea of faces, I realised how far these students have come, becoming engaged, helpful young citizens with an exciting future ahead of them. We look forward to welcoming many of them back to our Sixth Form next term. 

This week has seen a group of Year 10 GCSE History students on a trip to Montacute House to study hierarchy and status in Elizabethan society, as well as an extremely moving Acoustic Night (with Ben Macnaughton performing a song for his father serving in Afghanistan and Princess Ijaola singing a song that she had written for her friend who is leaving Sexey’s to return to Spain at the end of the year). There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

We must give our congratulations to Georgia Silcox for her Somerset County Schools win and new Long Jump championship record of 6.08m last weekend. Well done Georgia – your success is testament to all of your hard work and dedication. Cricket and rounders fixtures have been played this week against Millfield Prep, King Arthur’s, Dauntsey’s, Stanchester and Milton Abbey (more information at the dedicated School Sports site as always) and we wish the equestrian team well for the upcoming NSEA Dressage competition in Dorset this weekend.

I must close now and dig out my black tie for the Sixth Form Ball at Haynes Motor Museum – yet another opportunity to reflect on the strong sense of community and friendship here at Sexey’s.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Headmaster's Weekly Notes - 09 June 2017

Welcome back after what I hope was a restful half term – it does seem quite a long time ago!

Those of us who did not manage to stay up all night watching the electoral votes coming in, woke to a very interesting political scene this morning. Commentators have reflected that this is the General Election in which young people have taken to the ballot boxes to make their voices heard. Perhaps we will see politicians engage much more heavily with the younger demographic as a result – this can only be a positive thing for our future. As a school we take very seriously the need to equip our students with the life skills that they will need to stay informed with this ever changing world. Our mission statement resonates this - ‘Teaching boys and girls to think intelligently, act wisely and be fully engaged in a challenging and changing world’. We thank all of those politicians that have come into school in recent weeks to meet with our students and explain the political process. As I write this, the current Government, is looking to establish itself with the support of DUP, ten days before Brexit negotiations begin. The question of grammar schools, academy sponsorship and school funding, to name but a few, will become more important than ever now.

In the spirit of staying informed, I hope that you will take the time to read Mr Clackson’s safeguarding letter relating to TV programmes, websites and apps currently available to children who have access to mobile devices, sent out to parents and guardians earlier today. It is a topic that is important to us – we are continually assessing our safeguarding procedures to ensure that your child is safe at school, physically, mentally and virtually. Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s tutor should you have any concerns.

It has been another busy start to term, not least as the exam season continues. Yesterday saw our Year 10 Drama students performing powerfully executed extracts from Hitchcock’s ‘The 39 Steps’. We also welcomed visitors from Bristol Cathedral Choir School who were conducting a friendly peer review of our teaching and learning to prepare us for future Ofsted monitoring visits. Their feedback was positive – they were clear that there has been apparent progress since January and that there are tremendous strengths and demonstrations of outstanding practice visible in the school. Thank you to everyone involved.

On Tuesday we held a minute’s silence in honour of all of those affected by the London terrorist attacks. Our thoughts and prayers remain with them and with their families and during times like this, it really does put things into perspective.

We have had a number of cricket and rounders fixtures this week, with fiercely contested matches against Millfield, Hugh Sexey’s, Westfield Academy and Huish Episcopi. And a reminder that next Tuesday sees the final Acoustic Night for the year – do please come along and support the excellent work of our musicians. The weather today has been pleasant (more reminiscent of how it should be during summer) and we wish all those going on the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition across the Mendips this weekend the very best of luck - let’s hope the weather is kind to them.