This has been a busy week and the highlights for me have been two wonderful musical events, very different in style, and the more enjoyable because of this. On Tuesday evening we had an open mic event in the music hall. The brainchild of Rhianna, in the sixth form, this was the second such event and allowed a wide range of pupils, of all ages, to demonstrate their musical skills in a very informal way. Incredibly well supported by a large audience of their friends, the programme was uplifting and relaxing, a wonderful way to end a busy school day. Very well done to Rhianna in particular, but to all the performers, for a very enjoyable event. Last evening, in the chapel, was the chamber concert. Rather more formal in style, but just as far reaching in variety, we enjoyed everything from Mozart to The Carpenters, both choral and orchestral and with ensembles large and small. Again, we see the strength of our fabulous music team, with Mr Davies and Mr Tamblyn directing your children to produce wonderful performances and with such confidence. I think we all loved Seb’s trombone playing – which has got to be the most humorous piece of the evening! Well done to all involved, and many thanks to all our music team for the support that they give your children which allows them to produce such wonderful music.
Open events and admissions
On Thursday we also welcomed prospective sixth formers to the school for a taster day. It was an extremely well attended event, with boys and girls joining us from a wide range of local schools. They were able to have four taster A Level classes, and to meet with our current L6 formers, who acted as guides and buddies to make sure that they had a great day and didn’t get lost! I was able to have a brief chat with them at lunchtime, to find out a little about them and it was a pleasure to hear about their passions and what they would bring to the school. Next week we have scholarship applicants here for interview, which is always a great pleasure – and I will be meeting with them to explore their motivations and skills alongside the formal subject specific assessment process. If your child is applying for a scholarship, I wish them every success – interviewing our own pupils is just as rewarding and interesting as meeting the prospective new joiners.
Over the last week we have interviewed internal candidates for the new roles of heads of year and heads of house as we progress our move to a tartan pastoral structure. Just as interviewing our pupils, I am always heartened when I interview internal candidates for roles in school, as I am reminded what strength, depth and breadth we have in the staff team, and also what motivates them to support and challenge your children in their daily lives. We should be in a position to announce the seven newly appointed heads of year and five new heads of house in the next couple of weeks, and we will, of course, share these with you. They will take up their posts in September 2024, but there is much to be done to prepare for the new structure before then and we hope that the new appointees will enjoy being involved in the decision making as we shape the new houses and embed the year group structure in the two terms ahead.
Last night we welcomed parents to a parental forum to discuss the digital world in which our children are growing up, and how we can help them to navigate their online activity safely. The discussion was excellent and some parents had great tips and strategies to share about how they manage their children’s use of technology at home. I think we all learned a lot from each other and will be implementing some of the ideas as soon as we can. Tying exercise to a way for children to ‘buy’ extra time online was my personal favourite.
This afternoon we have the second meeting of the family society committee and we hope that we will soon be able to share with you the events and activities that the society is starting to plan, and are taking shape for the months to come. We very much hope that you will support these events and get involved, in order to connect with each other, and also allow our children to have some fun events at school, which will, we hope, be effective vehicles for fund raising.
Non uniform day
On Wednesday 22 November there is a non-uniform day in aid of Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby who support children with disabilities, or facing disadvantage. The suggested optional donation is £2. Many thanks for your support with this.
On Saturday morning we have our mini medical interviews programme for those pupils who are applying for clinical courses at university. This scheme gives them a great opportunity to meet with clinicians and practitioners and prepare effectively for interviews at the institutions to which they have applied. We are very grateful to the parents and other community members who give up their time to support this excellent event and I look forward to seeing some of you here. In sport this weekend we have a range of fixtures against Mount Kelly, Wellington School and Blundell’s Prep. I wish all the girls and boys success in their rugby and hockey and look forward to seeing some of you as you are supporting your children.
Finally, four pupils will be confirmed in Exeter Cathedral on Sunday afternoon, after being prepared for confirmation through last year, with Rev. Nightingale. This is a big moment for the families involved and I wish Elisabeth, Mollie, Georgia and Ella all the best for the service on Sunday; congratulations to them all.
Have a lovely weekend.