The school is still buzzing today after the excitement of yesterday at the Taunton Festival of the Arts Junior Choir competitions. In the ’10 years and under’ class, we were up against seven other choirs, including Queen’s, and it was a tremendous achievement to be the winning choir. Then, in the ’12 years and under’ class, we beat Minehead and King’s to come away as double champions! Very well done to Mrs Hornsby and her staff, and to the pupils for practising and performing so well. I know what a lot of concentration and hard work goes into preparing for performances such as yesterday’s and it was wonderful to see our pupils enjoying the thrill of a competition in their performing arts endeavours, as well as on the sports field.

Continuing on the theme of Performing Arts, we are all looking forward to the Year 6 musical next week and I know how much the pupils and staff are appreciating the refurbishments which took place to the Centenary Hall last summer. Music, dance and drama play such important parts in the the life of our school, and it is excellent to see these areas thriving.

The 11 scholarships saw many applications in performing arts, both from external and internal candidates, and the number of scholarship awards made this year were very evenly spread across all the areas – academic, sports, performing arts, and art and design. External and internal applications have been treated exactly the same in all respects, and scholarship fee remission can only exceed the published scale where a family is granted top-up Assisted Place funding after a rigorous means-tested financial circumstances process.

On the academic front, I can’t remember a week when I have seen as many Rolls of Honour in the playground at breaktime as I have done over the last five days. It is always a joy to see the work which the boys and girls bring with them. The 1066 board games which the Year 7 pupils created over the Christmas holidays have been particularly inspiring to see, and I am thrilled that TPS boys and girls are being given opportunities to learn in such creative and engaging ways.

Finally, I would like to follow up the message that went to all parents earlier this week regarding flexi-boarding. I am delighted that we have a very healthy number of full-time boarders living in the heart of the school and that we are able to offer the boarding experience to all of our pupils, even if it is just for one night of flexi-boarding at some point in the year. Staying for a night or two away from home is a life skill, developing independence and social skills as well as being great fun, and I can think of no better way of preparing for school residential trips than spending a night or two in Thone. It can also, on occasion, be a very pragmatic way of solving logistical issues, saving hours of driving when arrangements have become busy.

I wish all of our boarders, and everyone at home, an enjoyable weekend.

Mr Andrew Edwards
Headmaster TPS