Headmaster’s Blog – 24 September 2016

The school is getting used to the new pattern of the day. I’m sure it will take a few cycles to settle down but there is a general ‘thumbs up’ on the 50 minute lesson length. The beginning to the day certainly feels more purposeful and I’m thoroughly enjoying being able to be out and about first thing to help things off to a good start. Yesterday’s mid-morning HM assembly worked almost like clockwork so everyone got their break.  We have had good feedback about the impact of the slightly shorter lunch hour and will take steps from the coming week to ensure a good choice of food remains available at the later sitting, after lunch time activities.

In my assembly I spoke about a notion that has received a good deal of media coverage of late, a notion described in a recent Economist article as Post-truth politics.  The point being made is that we seem to have entered an era where politicians routinely make assertions that have no basis in fact, using lies to reinforce peoples’ prejudices.   Our school motto Esse Quam Videri could be put another way, ‘we are a pro-truth school’. And so I challenged the school to keep their antennae tuned to recognise when people are manipulating the truth, spreading rumour and gossip, and to take a questioning approach to life, searching for the real truth through reason, research and debate.

The biggest criticism I have had about the new one-way circuit is “why didn’t you do it sooner!” I’m very pleased it’s working so well. I met some representatives from Cormac last week and took them down to St Clement Hill to observe the traffic flow.  Watch this space, but we agreed some sensible proposals to improve road traffic and pedestrian safety on this busy road.

The co-curricular life of the school is now in full swing with sport, music and drama aplenty. I enjoyed meeting so many parents on the touchlines this weekend where we hosted visitors from Mount Kelly on the hockey and rugby pitches.  Games were well contested, one highlight being a narrow 30-26 win for our 2nd XV against the MK 1st XV.  Great success too from our boys who returned recently from the world surf life-saving championships in Holland. It looks like we are taking ten relay teams to Millfield this week for the English Schools qualifying swimming gala!

It has been super to see so many parents at the 1st and new 3rd Year parents’ welcome evenings and the GCSE evening for 4th Year parents. The 4th and 5th Years and their parents are back this coming Wednesday for the Sixth Form Open Evening which always gets good reviews.

And finally, don’t forget that one of the great advantages of being a predominantly day school with a boarding ethos, is that flexi-boarding is available and popular, and breakfast and supper at school are well frequented by day students (especially on the days when Full English is on the menu).