The Truro School campus came back to life on Wednesday for our pre-term staff training day. I’m grateful to our staff members who were up in lights in front of their colleagues, delivering the sessions. The focus was very much about teaching and learning where we revisited themes that are embedded in our strategic plan; we collect a great deal of baseline data about individual students and we discussed further ways this can be usefully employed to inform classroom practice. I enjoyed participating in the session where we considered creative ways to enhance the quality of feedback we give to students. The idea is that their exercise books become useful revision guides as they look back over their work.
It was business as usual on Thursday; Headmaster’s assembly and then off to first lesson. I drew my assembly message from a book I read over Christmas. “The Boys in the Boat” is a gripping account of the story of the young men from Washington University, who against some tough odds, rowed their way to Olympic glory in Berlin in 1936, the rise of Nazi Germany providing an interesting backdrop. The message: it’s amazing what you can achieve when you lose yourself entirely to the collective effort of the crew.
Sixth Form mocks and subject choices will be a big feature of life this term on the academic front. The Lower Sixth have now started their internal exams and I wish them luck for the next week. These exams are a great way of putting a mark in the sand, reflecting on the outcomes and putting a plan in place to respond to feedback. On the cause:effect spectrum, we will be encouraging each student to be at ‘cause’ i.e. to take responsibility to make things happen rather than to wait for something to happen to them.
Looking ahead to the first full week of school, it is the 3rd Year GCSE Options Evening on Tuesday 12 January at 7pm in the Burrell Theatre. This is an invaluable opportunity to hear about and discuss the different avenues available to your son or daughter as they make these very important decisions. The 5th Year Parents’ Evening is on Thursday, 14 January – an important time for teachers, parents and students to agree on the appropriate way to proceed now that mocks are over and examinations draw closer. I look forward to meeting many of you at these events.
Congratulations must go to Otto in the Upper Sixth who has just been accepted into the UK Air Rage Kitesurfing Team with a sponsorship deal from South West Gin Kites. At a recent competition, Otto jumped 10.2m – a new personal best. You will have seen a pretty awesome photograph of him in our “new-look” Bulletin.
We are all looking forward to a busy and exciting Spring term.
Andrew Gordon-Brown, Truro School Headmaster