Head's Words Summer Term Week 3
I have just realised why we are shivering in what is, even for April in England, some pretty chilly and damp weather - it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, we are training for athletics and tennis matches, and we have had the whole school photograph!
However working on the basis that “there is no such things as bad weather, just bad gear” (with thanks to Sir Ranulph Fiennes) we are just rolling up our sleeves and getting on with it.
We have received some excellent feedback from our LAMDA examiner, as he observed two days of performances from ... Year 10s as well as a host of Juniors. Well done to them - it is no mean feat to appear on your own on a stage knowing you are being assessed and judged - sport psychologists are well acquainted with ‘evaluation apprehension’ but it also had to be overcome by our LAMDA candidates and we shall get the results in a month or so.
Year 10 historians were joined by the senior boys for a very successful two day trip to Ypres last weekend, and they really enjoyed working together, and benefited from the experience of a much improved museum and visitor centre. Members of Year 8 competed at the Salters Festival of Chemistry, and although we did not win this year we did solve the murder and had a really engaging and challenging day of all things chemical.
One of our School values is ‘Responsibility’ and in assembly this week I presented badges to this term's Form Captains. Each term a new Form Captain is elected and amongst other tasks they have to represent their form at the School Council. It is a valued role as witnessed by how many of these candidates I have been interviewing for the next Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl who will take up their post after half term. I have been terrifically impressed with the candidates I have seen so far - confident interviewees supported by some very well crafted letters of application.
Last Thursday I am sure nobody in the UK could have missed the occasion of the Queen’s 90th birthday... but did go completely unheralded was the 200th anniversary of the birth one of our most significant women authors - Charlotte Bronte. In our Monday assembly we reflected upon the fact that she had to assume a male nom de plume to get ‘Jane Eyre’ published. Well things are changing but female authors still face some barriers as reported on the Goodreads website.
They commented that;
“though women read more books than men, and female authors are published in comparable numbers, they are more easily overlooked. Are men thought more likely to write what’s considered ‘important’ literary fiction, when reviews describe women writers work as “delicate” when it is forthright, “playful” when it is experimental, “delightful” when it is satirical and be given an inappropriate ‘flowery’ cover”
We looked at how the casual but stereotypical use of words and phrases pushes women’s writing into a niche, which then has a more general impact upon self-image and self-reference of girls and young women. That is why, as a girls’ school, it is important that we continue to celebrate the breadth of activity and achievement that our pupils engage in, both inside and outside of school.
Well I hope you have an enjoyable long weekend and I look forward to seeing everybody back next Tuesday.
And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down.
Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.