I find it hard to believe that it has been nearly six weeks since we came back for the start of the Spring term and it is amazing how much the staff and pupils have packed into that short time.
Academically, it has been another very hard-working and inspiring couple of weeks, and I cannot remember seeing so many pupils at break-time for Rolls of Honour as I have done over the past fortnight.

The 11+ scholarships process has now come to an end and we had a good number of very strong applications in all areas. The number of scholarship awards were very evenly spread across all areas (Academic, Sports, Music, Dance, Drama, Design Technology, and Art), and both external and internal applications were treated exactly the same in all respects. We are certainly on track to have some highflying classes for the start of Year 7.

Thank you to all parents for their support during the inspection this week. As well as the heart-warming words of encouragement from parents, for which we were very grateful, the inspectors reported that a very good proportion of parents took the time and trouble to fill out the confidential questionnaire. The inspectors left yesterday afternoon and it will be around 7 working weeks until the publication of the report. From a school’s point of view, the inspection was a very positive experience and it was terrific to be able to pass on to our pupils in assembly yesterday the lovely words of praise which the inspectors used to describe our boys and girls. The inspection has been an excellent opportunity for staff, pupils and parents to pull together as a team, and for us all to feel proud to be part of such a super school.

Talking of pride, I congratulated our two choirs yesterday who sang at the Taunton Festival of the Arts Choir competition. 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. We didn’t quite manage to retain the titles which we won last year, but I emphasised to the pupils that if they aim high, and try their best, then we are always very proud of them.

In sport, an amazing total of 38 pupils from Senior and Prep swam in the County Swimming Championships (having met the high standard required to qualify), and our Year 8 boys won their regional IAPS hockey tournament, thereby reaching the National Finals. Very well done to all of these hard-working and talented pupils. To be regional winners in hockey at both U11 and U13 level is very rarely achieved by any school.

Finally, with so much good news, it is not surprising that we had another very successful Open Morning on 1st February. In the Prep School, day pupils wanting to join the school before September are having to go onto a waiting list in all year groups except our current Year 6. Additional places will be available in September due to the extra classes which we will be creating for the current Years 4, 5 and 6. It is a great privilege to be Head of such a sought after school.

I wish all of you a restful and very enjoyable half term holiday.

Mr Andrew Edwards, Headmaster