I hope that you and your families were all able to enjoy the half term break and that all batteries have been recharged for an exciting and rewarding second half of term. It was lovely to watch the video updates from the Austrian Alps where 46 of our TPS pupils enjoyed terrific scenery, weather and skiing conditions. Very well done to all of the staff and pupils who made such a success of the trip.
A few weeks ago, we advertised for an Assistant Head Pastoral, which is a newly created role on our Prep School Senior Management Team. We are a thriving Prep School with a significantly larger number of pupils than two years ago, and we are always looking to improve further and to develop the education and care which we provide for our children. By adding to the Senior Management Team, we are ensuring that we do not become over-stretched, with the new Assistant Head taking particular responsibility for leading pastoral care, safeguarding, and the spiritual moral social and cultural development of the pupils. We had nearly 60 applicants, including many highly qualified candidates from other leading Prep Schools. I am delighted to inform you that, by the end of a very rigorous recruitment process, our own Mrs Joanna Hall-Tomkin proved herself to be the leading candidate and I am sure that you will join me in congratulating her on her appointment. Mrs Hall-Tomkin joined our school over four years ago with an impressive track record of academic and pastoral experience already under her belt, and she has been a terrific Head of History and Pastoral Head of Years 5&6 at TPS. She will continue as Head of History and will be taking up the Assistant Head’s role formally in September 2019.
In terms of pupil numbers, any families approaching us now for places into next September’s Year 7 are having to go onto a waiting list, and Years 3, 4 and 8 are also very nearly full. We remain very mindful of class sizes and the average class size in TPS is currently 16, which provides excellent pupil/staff ratios. The three classes currently in Year 6 will split in September into four classes for the start of their Year 7.
Having healthy class sizes, without being too large, provides our pupils with very good opportunities for a range of friendships and guarantees the level of income required to reinvest in excellent staff, resources and the development of facilities. We hope to announce very soon confirmation that our ambitious new whole-school dining room project will go ahead, and we are currently advertising for an additional member of staff dedicated to supporting the teaching of Maths throughout the Prep School.
Finally, it was very good to see a good number of TPS parents attending last night’s PTA talk from Mr Dick Moore on the subject of mental health. Powerful and serious messages were delivered skilfully in a very moving manner, and we are grateful to our PTA Chair, Mr Paul Billings, for organising the talk.
I wish you all an enjoyable and restful weekend.
Mr Andrew Edwards