Mr Bevis' Words Autumn Term Week 6
I think I should open with congratulating our sports teams, particularly the hockey sides. Last week I reported that the Under 15s had won the County Plate competition, this week it was the turn of the Under 14s. After a first round loss to St Mary’s, wins against Newlands, Holt School and Charters, draws with Holyport, LVS and Leighton Park saw us into the County U14 Plate Final where we defeated Holyport College 2-0, and Kennet School 1-0 to run out winners. Well done to all members of the squad. At the same time our 1st XI were defeating LVS 1-0.
Next Tuesday we are holding our Open Afternoon for prospective parents and their daughters. As ever I wish our guests the opportunity to see us at work, in lessons, teachers and pupils working together. To achieve that we are swapping our after school time for the final lessons of the day, and parents have had a letter from me asking that their daughters remain in school until 5.10pm. Buses are running as normal. We are expecting to be really busy so I am afraid that there are going to be some traffic and parking problems for us and I would ask for patience and courtesy from us all.
We are always ambitious for our young people as they progress into the wider world. This week members of the Sixth Form met our Oxbridge link tutor and got much valuable advice on why they would consider an application to these prestigious and world beating universities, and how to best place themselves for success. We have aso been great supporters of the alternative to university routes and I was delighted to catch a Radio 4 programme - The Bottom Line in which the presenter and guests explained why more top employers are offering school leavers a fast track career without the need to go to university. You can catch that broadcast here and it is really worth a listen.
At the Year 7 Parents Evening on Thursday I emphasised our approach to developing skillful, persistent and confident learners. Encouraging and convincing young people to believe that they can progress and learn no matter from where they start from is fundamental to our philosophy. This Year 11s had an inspiring session from world renowned speaker David Hyner, who through a series of short learning strategies and amusing and inspiring words refocused them on what can be achieved over the next two terms. In assembly on Thursday I showed a short video to the school which explained psychologist Carol Dweck’s theory of ‘growth mindset’ as part of my series of assemblies on how our brain adapts and learns. Dweck’s research has indicated that growth mindset individuals have the attitude that asking a question when they don’t understand is smart, and that working hard to understand something does not mean you are ‘dumb’. If you would like to see that short video you can find it here.
A passion for an activity can often be stimulated when you get a chance to see the best, to be exposed and challenged by something beyond your usual experience. Year 7 are off to the National Gallery next week and through the combination of our own inspirational teachers and the National’s expert curators we hope we shall be lighting some small fires, or encouraging the girls to take a few more small steps.
Nothing is ever achieved without putting the effort in and it is always marvellous to recognise great achievements that occur outside of school. One of our Year 7s returned from a national gymnastics competition with two silver and one bronze medal and it was a real pleasure to present them to her. Do please let me know of anything that your daughters achieve, be it in sport, music, drama or in any other activity for which they have a passion.
Have a lovely weekend and I hope to see many of you at the PTA Fireworks evening on Saturday - everything kicks off at 5.30pm with the fireworks display at 7.15pm.