Last week I had the pleasure of a few days in the company of other Heads at our annual HMC conference which this year was in Stratford upon Avon. The overarching theme of the conference was on creativity in our schools. The keynote speaker on the first day was Will Gompertz, the BBC’s arts editor. He gave a brilliant talk on why everyone should think like an artist. He spoke with great wit about artists of the past who have made huge contributions to societal development by challenging the status quo. Paul Cezanne was regarded by great twentieth century artists like Matisse and Picasso as ‘the father of us all’, despite having his work ridiculed by art critics and rejected by the Salon in Paris. Humans have a remarkable ability to imagine, to be creative, to be skeptical and he challenged us to run schools that unlocked and nurtured these qualities in an environment of joint endeavour. In a strong message he opined that very little ever comes from individual genius, almost all worthwhile creations are works of collaboration.
In one of the finest works of musical collaboration I have ever witnessed, our girl choristers were part of the Truro Cathedral choir’s recent performance with the City of London Symphonia who are on a cathedral tour around England. It was a spellbinding performance of the highest quality. I’m not sure who or what was Handel’s inspiration when he composed the music for Zadok the Priest, but the Symphonia and the choir certainly did him proud.
It was super to welcome so many families to Truro School on Saturday for our Open Morning. The weather was kind and I’m very grateful to Team TS for rolling out the red carpet to our visitors. Our army of excellent pupil tour guides and department helpers did a fine job. In my short talks to prospective families I made the point that my most important job is to ensure that our children are safe and happy. The pressures faced by teenagers today provide a challenging backdrop to this goal. The enthusiasm of our boys and girls is pretty infectious and tells a good story about what it’s like to be at school. Nonetheless, I challenged the school in my assembly on Friday on the topic of bullying for which there is no place in our community. Our challenge as human beings is to make a conscious ‘decision to love’, even if we might be feeling the opposite.
A date for your diaries is 10 November: The Friends of Truro School Anonymous Art Auction, to be held in the Heseltine Gallery, is a charity evening in support of The Wave Project, a local surfing charity. Last year’s auction raised over £8000 so it promises to be a fun evening. Over 80 canvasses have been given out to talented pupils, members of staff and local well known artists who have kindly agreed to donate a piece of their work so you just might pick up a painting by a well known artist for a song. For tickets please click here.