Head's Words Summer Term Week 1
We returned on Wednesday and by 9.05am everybody in class and learning... from Reception to Sixth Form.. and the school was buzzing. Staff had been in since Monday with meetings, training and unpacking of boxes, but Wednesday was what we were all about.
It wasn’t long before news of achievements came rolling in.. our Under 15 tennis team with a resounding win over Edgbarrow School in the tennis 12-0! I should also draw your attention to the superb achievement by our Sixth Form A Level Drama group who scooped 1st prize in the National ISA Drama Competition with Sam Gipple taking the individual award for Best Senior Male Performer.
On Thursday I handed out ABRSM Music Grades to four of our Senior Girls - with one at Grade 1, so just starting her journey, one at Grade 3 and 2 at Grade 5 and I am so pleased to see so many taking individual music lessons, with the resultant development in musicianship across the school.
Mrs Mulhearn, Senior Tutor for Key Stage 3 lead our Assembly on Thursday in which she posed the question “What would you like to do, but think that you can’t?” In that context my own bette noire is being able to sing. Mrs Mulhearn spoke about her journey, as an avowed non runner, from a short Rainbow Run to the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff over the Easter weekend. She finished in a very creditable time but was also thrilled to be in the same event as Mo Farah, and to get a picture with Lord Coe! She made some very valuable points - ‘begin with small steps’ and ‘celebrate small victories’ but the one I referred to in my closing remarks was a quote from Henry Ford “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right”. The audience was puzzled at first and then understanding dawned.
Thinking you can will be the high on the agenda when Year 9 visit Lexmark International on Tuesday. Their UK Head Office is based in Maidenhead and the reason we are visiting is that they have a company policy to enable the promotion of women into senior positions within the company. Research published in December shows that despite significant progress, and being ahead of Germany and France, fewer than 10% of executive directors in Briain’s top companies are female; see the Guardian article. As part of our careers programme Year 9 during their visit will have assumptions challenged and aspirations kindled.
As exam term for GCSE, AS and A Level courses Years 10-13 are focussed on revision and preparation. And for some Year 11s it has already started with PE practical being assessed on Friday and our actors presenting their devised pieces on Monday.
On Monday of next week Year 9 will experience the lyrical nature of Shakespeare’s poerty when they attend a session at Senior Boys being given by the poet Philip Wells (The Fire Poet). On Thursday four members of Year 8 will be competing in the Salters Festival of Chemistry at UCL in London, and the Year 10 historians are off to Ypres on Friday.
Exams will take place the week beginning 23 May for Years 7 -10 and some information and support documents have already been made available. PSHEE sessions and subjects will be focussing on exam study skills next week to ensure that pupils understand how to prepare, and how not to panic!
So it has been an energising return to school and thank you for your contribution to that... and have a lovely weekend.
“Energy and persistence conquer all things” Benjamin Franklin