Letter from Andy Johnson

Dear Old Truronians

First and foremost, I am writing to introduce myself to you as the new Head of Truro School – a school that I know holds a special place in your lives, and which now also does in mine.

I am thrilled to have both the privilege and responsibility of this role and am excited about the future of the School. I want to start by thanking the Foundation and the Association for their financial and wider contributions of support that continue to help us navigate the choppy seas we currently face because of the pandemic.

Your collective generosity and goodwill have certainly helped some families keep their children in our School. More than that, the investments of compassion that we make now, that are fully in tune with our Methodist ethos, will bring social, developmental and educational dividends both for the children and the School in the future. Thank you. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my predecessor, Andrew Gordon-Brown, and his family, for their service to the School. Andrew was immensely supportive of me as I prepared for this post. He is now the new Headmaster of Kingswood School in Bath, and so remains part of the wider MIST family of schools.

I am sorry that we are not able to proceed with many of the usual alumni events in the current climate, including most recently the annual former pupils’ dinner. I am sure that we will make up for lost time as soon as we can, including consideration of new events. One event that the School will be hosting this academic year is a celebration of the life and legacy of our former Headmaster, Guy Dodd. We had initially hoped to host this event in October, but with the latest government announcement, and with the support of Guy’s family, we have decided to delay our planning until we can be confident the event can be the kind of celebration Guy deserves. More details will follow in due course.

You will have seen that education has hardly been out of the headlines this summer. Our GCSE and A Level pupils eventually received the outcomes they deserved and our School leavers move forwards with honour as your fellow Old Truronians to an array of exciting destinations. Impressive as the Oxbridge and Medical School outcomes are, it is the diversity of destinations and ambitions fulfilled that reflects the School’s breadth of talent, and mission to nurture individuals who learn how to be the best of themselves with confidence, in tune with our motto.

The new academic year has started well. Our planning for a Covid-safe environment for pupils and staff alike has been ongoing and agile in the face of evolving guidance, and responsive to the needs and feedback of our stakeholders. We wrote to current and prospective parents in June, again in early August, and just before the start of term in order to outline our plans to minimise risk to pupils and staff alike. We have also set up a Covid Steering Group that meets weekly to review our situation and the latest updates, locally and nationally.

We have chosen to err on the side of caution as the new term begins, but as much as the pandemic has created anxieties, it has also brought the community together positively to collaborate and meet this challenge. This is to the immense credit of pupils, staff, and the wider Truro family. It is an absolute joy and delight to see the School full of children once again. I am confident that the spirit and ethos of this School will triumph over this latest challenge in its proud history, just as it has over those in the past.

I recorded a video message for parents at the start of term in which I introduced myself and focused on more than just the current climate of pandemic risk management. As you know perhaps more than others, this is a great School that is more important and more dynamic than the pandemic. There is a link to that video HERE.

Finally, for my own part, my family and I are thrilled to be in Cornwall.  We are settling into our new home, which, with a five-year-old and a two-year-old, is a constantly and entertainingly interrupted process! Both Pamela and I have positive existing relationships with Cornwall ourselves, and it is lovely now to be residents of this great County and champions of all it has to offer.

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in person, as soon as that becomes practical.

With very best wishes to you all,

Andy Johnson