Welcome back from half term! I hope that you were all able to enjoy quality family time over the break, whether at home or abroad, and if you stayed in Devon, that the rather dismal weather did not prevent you from having a fun holiday with your children.
We had four very successful overseas trips out over the break; the Fourth Form were in Berlin studying art, the classics trip explored Athens and the local ancient sites, the Spanish department enjoyed practising their speaking skills in the great city of Granada, and the hockey tour to Utrecht came back having scored many more goals that they anticipated, and having eaten many pancakes too. I hope that your children enjoyed these great opportunities to be away and have such great experiences with their friends and I am very grateful indeed for all the staff who gave up their holiday time to make these such a success: Mrs Brewer, Ms Brownsey and Mrs Rafferty-White on the art trip, Mrs Dunlop, Dr Keane, Miss Rose, Mr Boddington and Dr Chapman on the classics trip, Ms Trotman, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Pomares and Mr McMenamin on the Spanish trip and Mr Gibson, Mr Skinner, Miss Horn and Miss Johnson on the hockey tour.
This week has been one filled with committee meetings of governors, as is usual at this time of the term, with two meetings on Monday and three on Wednesday. At Wednesday’s meeting of the finance and general purposes committee we inevitably discussed the possibility of a change of government in the next year or two, and the likely impact of changing tax policies on the independent sector. We know that this is a question that some of you are concerned about. Please be reassured that our governors are working hard behind the scenes to mitigate for any taxation changes, as far as we can, and to continue to provide the very best value education possible for your children, whilst not compromising on quality. This remains a very high priority for us as a school.
Third Form parents
It was lovely to welcome third form parents to their first in-situ parents’ evening on Tuesday, and to hear so much lively discussion and positive conversations around the hall. I hope that you enjoyed hearing about your child’s progress and also that any questions or queries that you might have were answered. Please remember that if you have any ongoing concerns, your child’s deputy head of house is the first port of call, so please do drop them a line. We are very impressed with how well the children have settled in as a year group and I am very happy to have started teaching some of 3A and 3C this week in their character and practical wisdom classes. This is a great opportunity for me to get to know them a little, and for them to see me in the classroom, as we grapple with moral dilemmas together and hopefully have a bit of fun in the classroom.
Sixth Form Open Evening
It was lovely to see so many Upper Fifth parents here at school on Thursday evening, along with many prospective parents and their children, to find out more about our fabulous sixth form here at Exeter School. This is a very exciting time for pupils, as they start to shape their career journey and think ahead to A levels as a stepping stone to university, work and apprenticeships. We much enjoyed seeing so many of you here and thank you for coming. I hope that you found it helpful.
A quick reminder to parents in Upper Two, Fourth Form and Upper Fifth Form, that today is the closing date for scholarship applications in art, drama, sport and music. Please contact admissions if you have any questions about this.
Today we had our annual remembrance service outside, on the newly completed quad. As ever, your children showed great maturity and solemnity in their deportment and approach as we laid wreaths and remembered the fallen of the two world wars and in conflict around the world. On Monday in assembly we reflected on the importance of being peacemakers, and I hope that, as we see such hardship, suffering and conflict continuing relatively close to home both in Europe and in the Middle East, that we remember the innocent lives affected by war, and that as a community we all strive for peace and think of those for whom war and conflict are part of their daily lives.
This weekend promises to be a busy one for the school community with senior members of the physics department (from U5 to U6) off to the Festival of Physics in Bristol on Saturday. On the sporting front we have rugby and hockey matches both at home and away against King’s and Queen’s colleges in Taunton, and matches against Plymouth College and West Buckland School here at home for the younger rugby players in U12 and U13 teams. On Sunday the Ten Tors participants have a navigation training day and we see the stage being set here at school in the main hall, ready for the senior play, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Rehearsals are in full swing and we look forward to the performances on 23, 24 and 25 November.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend and thank you for your continuing support.