It was a rare treat to attend the recital of nationally renowned bass baritone Darren Jeffery which took place in the chapel on Thursday evening. Darren was with us to give a masterclass to some of our students, and to bring our school Singing Week to a memorable close. Darren’s recital was magnificent and wide-ranging, including some beautiful traditional English songs which he first learned as a 16 year old boy starting out on his musical journey, as well spellbinding operatic performances of Bizet’s Toreador and Leporello’s “Catalog Aria” from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. How one man (even with his man-mountain stature) could fill the chapel with such powerful singing was truly remarkable. When I chatted to him afterwards, he likened his career progress to that of an athlete training for elite competition – it takes hours of daily practice over many years.
I left the recital in somewhat of a rush, racing home to change for the black-tie ACHE banquet being hosted in the dining hall that evening. Advice, Care, Help, Empathy (ACHE) is a 16 week programme offered to our lower sixth formers, training them as peer counsellors and equipping them with skills to help others who are facing the difficulties that life throws at us all from time to time. Of course, what it also does is to allow these impressive young adults to build their own inner resilience, wisdom and wellbeing. The Rev has been offering this annual programme for well over a decade now and I can see what a positive impact it has in supporting a climate of kindness and respect among our students. Earlier in the week I had some super feedback from the nearly twenty international delegates whose visit we hosted to facilitate our international boarding strategy. One delegate from Mexico who has been visiting UK schools for over 30 years, commented how much she loved the spirit in our school. I have no doubt that the ACHE programme plays a role in the formation of our sixth formers as people of compassion who positively influence what it feels like to be at school.
Friday night’s Luxury Seafood Dinner Made Easy at Truro School Cookery was a delectable delight. The collaboration between our cookery school, Fish for Thought and St Austell Wines worked a treat. Fish for Thought is a local business founded by current parent, Paul Trudgian, who brought along his head chef Adam to lead an evening of seafood cookery demonstrations. We were then served with a tasting plate with a superbly matched wine. It was a terrific format and I am sure that future events will be a sell-out. Visit our website to see what’s on offer.
The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) has developed into a qualification of real distinctiveness for our sixth formers, helping them to hone all the research and independent study skills required at university, whilst gaining a real expertise in a subject area of their choice. Monday and Tuesday evenings in the Burrell Theatre will be the culmination of these projects with the students performing their viva, explaining their work and taking questions from the floor. I commend the evening to parents and pupils – I am sure that I will once again be bowled over by the brilliance of our candidates.