I hope that you all enjoyed a relaxing exeat weekend! Those of our boarding pupils who stayed at school were given an excellent couple of days by Mr and Mrs Wells, together with Mrs Marshall, who provided activities such as ten pin bowling, a shopping trip to Clarks Village, a giant manhunt, a film or two and a bit of tuck! I had the pleasure of taking several of the pupils on at chess and seeing them battle it out on the Blokus game board! Our new boarding staff team has settled in beautifully and the boarders are thriving. If you are interested in trying a flexi-boarding night or two for your son or daughter, please do contact our Head of Boarding, Mrs Wells on firstname.lastname@example.org and she can explain how it works.
Also at the weekend, our Open Water Swimmers were extremely impressive as they competed in the Exmoor Challenge, swimming either 2 or 4 kilometres in Wimbleball Lake. In water temperatures of around 16 degrees, they had to keep pushing themselves all of the way in order to maintain the required body heat. For me, every member of our squad deserved a winning gold medal. Two of my favourite words in education are ‘Ambition’ and ‘Effort’ and all of these pupils set their sights on achieving an extraordinary feat, and every one of them gave 100% effort. The most important thing is not where each of our boys and girls came in the race, but the amazing level of challenge and effort demonstrated by them all. Very well done to the fantastic team of staff who accompanied the children either in the water or on dry land, and many congratulations to all of our pupils who swam with such determination.
But alongside the achievements of our boys and girls in sport and other co-curricular areas, it is their progress in the classroom which lies at the heart of their school experience. I have had the pleasure of spending time with our children in several of our classrooms this week and the tremendous attitudes of our pupils have been wonderful to see. Teachers award Housepoints and Rolls of Honour for excellent individual pieces of work, and they also nominate pupils to be ‘Learners of the Week’. Every Monday, in assembly, we call onto the stage and applaud up to around ten ‘Learners of the Week’, all of whom are photographed and listed for the Courier. Please do have a look at this week’s list on page 8.
Finally, last Tuesday evening, many parents from all sections of our school attended a talk by Dr Aric Sigman, who is a Fellow of the Society of Biology, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Scientist. As such, he is an expert in the field of medical research around screen time and health in young people. His talk was thought-provoking for everyone and we will be sending out the notes that Dr Sigman gave us, especially for the benefit of parents who were unable to attend.
Mr Andrew Edwards