I am at my desk tying up a few loose ends and enjoying the quiet just before Christmas begins. As long and busy Autumn terms go, the last thirteen weeks of school life have not disappointed. The boys and girls of Truro School continue to throw themselves wholeheartedly into the mastery of their academic subjects inside the classroom, and the pursuit of their many talents outside of it.
Of great importance, of course, is the progress your sons and daughters have made in their academic studies. Having read the Autumn Term reports and added my own short comment, I am pleased overall with the high standards being maintained. This was reinforced for me through the Parents’ evenings this term where it has been heartwarming to hear such positive comments about boys and girls who are happy at school. I am ever grateful for the feedback when things at school may not have gone as well as you hoped or where parents have shared a concern. I value your honesty at these times because we are a school that is committed to learn and respond constructively to feedback.
The co-curricular life at School has been prolific across all areas. The Autumn term music concert programme was as busy as ever and then in October the girl choristers performed beautifully in their first public service at Truro Cathedral. And we have just been told that our school chamber choir are through to the semi-final of the BBC School Choir of the Year competition. The Spring Term will be an exciting time for Music!
There have been some excellent sporting achievements this term; gold medals in the first ever independent schools’ surfing championships, brilliant results in Football, Netball, Rugby, Rowing, Swimming and Cross Country – an amazing One-Two victory at the English Schools’ Cross Country Cup National Final. A number of girls’ and boys’ teams in Netball, Hockey, Rugby and Badminton became County Champions. The Under 13 and Under 15 netball squads are both through to the last eight in the country in the National Schools’ Sport Cup and the 1st XI rugby squad reached the last 16 in the Nat West Cup. Amazing stuff!
I am certainly ready to hop off the Truro School treadmill for a bit of R&R. I look forward to returning in January ready to continue our work to develop the school. We have plans to respond to the helpful suggestions from the parent survey about how we could do certain things differently and areas of concern that have been raised. I will be writing to parents early next term about some enhancements to our curriculum as well as to our school day. We are delighted with the appointment of Mrs Emma Ellison who will take up post as Deputy Head (Pastoral) from the beginning of April. Emma is currently Senior Deputy Head at the Royal High School in Bath and is looking forward to returning to her Cornish roots, having been educated at Truro High School. One of the areas that is under review is our pastoral structure which ties in nicely with Emma’s appointment. Emma is already part of these discussions.
In our end of term school service at Truro Methodist Church the school was in particularly good voice. My message was that in this season of Advent, the coming of Christmas is a time of both pleasure and joy. Pleasure because we get to spend time with loved ones, family and friends; pleasure in the giving and receiving of gifts; pleasure for me because I get to sit by the fire with a glass of wine and newspaper after a long walk. It’s also a time of joy. As the angels are reported to have sung “I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be for all the people”. We prepare to celebrate Christmas and, as a Christian school, we reflect on the mystery of the incarnation, the mystery that God sent his son into the world, the mystery that the spirit of God is the source of joy within us. So, while we look forward to the pleasure we will derive from the trappings of Christmas, let us also take a moment to reflect on these mysteries and to respond joyfully.
It just remains for me to wish you a joyful and relaxing Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Andrew Gordon-Brown, Truro School Headmaster