We can be so grateful of the fact that we have been able to provide a virtually uninterrupted education for all of our children since the start of September. Thank you to all parents, pupils and staff for your tremendous efforts in making our school work to such a high standard over the past two months.

Although the past six and a half weeks have shot by, the pupils and staff have achieved so much together. Last Friday, in the Harvest Festival, we enjoyed some wonderful singing by the choir and thank you to all pupils and parents who donated so much food and drink, all of which will be very much appreciated by those most in need in our local community. On the games field, our teams have been enjoying their matches and all of our Year 4 pupils have this week been rehearsing and filming their play called ‘Wiz Wham Alakazam’. We look forward to seeing the film after half term. Other recent highlights include a live webinar interview for our sports scholars with Sir Alastair Cook, and a ‘yellow day’ in aid of MIND, the mental health charity.

On Wednesday evening, I hope that our Year 8 pupils and parents enjoyed the ‘Bring on Year 9’ Information Evening’ run by the Senior School. Last summer, of seventy-six pupils who finished Year 8, seventy-five moved into our Senior School to be joined by approximately twenty-five Year 9 newcomers. It is lovely for our pupils that they do not lose friends as they move up the school and that new joiners enter the year group to add new friendship opportunities. As well as ensuring that pupils at the top of the Prep School enjoy a smooth transition into the Senior School, we are committed to making sure that parents have all of the information they need to feel very
confident about the years ahead.

It has been lovely to see how happy the Year 8 pupils are to be appointed to be a leader in an area of school life (chosen by them). We have Digital Leaders, Performing Arts Leaders (Music, Drama and Dance), Science Leaders, Art Leaders, Design Technology Leaders, Librarians, Chapel Leaders, Sports Leaders and Eco Leaders. We also have Junior Leaders who will be spending time supporting and befriending our pupils in Years 3. In addition, the eight Heads of Houses, the Boarding Captains, the Head Boy and the Head Girl all have important leadership roles and meet regularly with the SMT and me, providing them with the opportunity to work in partnership with their peers and senior management for the good of the school community.

These roles for our Year 8 pupils give them all the opportunity to develop leadership skills, to pursue their interests to a deeper level, and to develop a special relationship with relevant staff. Year 8 pupils have access to areas during break which are not open to Year 7 and below, and they read regularly in Chapel. We believe strongly that the best time to transfer into our Senior School is at the age of 13. During their final year in TPS, as well as taking on leadership roles, our pupils spend an increasing amount of time using Senior School
facilities and being taught by Senior School teachers (including our shared elite sports coaches). It is the best of both worlds and it is a joy to see our children maturing into self-assured, confident and mature individuals, ready to work, play and socialise alongside the young adults of the Senior School.

I hope that you all have a great half-term break.

Andrew Edwards
TPS Headmaster