Becoming a confident leader...Monday, October 2, 2017
During the past week, I have had the great pleasure of watching TPS pupils displaying their talents in a wide range of events. The Taunton Deane Swimming Championships was a chance for me to see many TPS pupils excelling in the pool, whilst I much enjoyed seeing all of our teams giving their all on the hockey and rugby pitches on Wednesday. On the musical side, the Performing Arts Café was a delightful concert, very well supported by parents and staff.
As our pupils reach the top of the Prep School, there is an increased focus on leadership as well as on their own performance as individuals. On Tuesday, I confirmed the leadership roles which we have allocated to our Year 8 boys and girls. Every pupil has been given the opportunity to lead in at least one area of school life, which he or she has chosen. There are Digital Leaders, Performing Arts Leaders (Music, Drama and Dance), Science Leaders, Art Leaders, DT Leaders, Librarians and Eco Leaders. In sport, as well as the appointed captains of individual sports, many pupils have expressed a desire to follow a programme which will develop their sports leadership skills and a letter will be sent home next week to parents of those pupils. Nearly 30 of our Year 8 pupils have also expressed a desire to become ‘Junior Leaders’ and they will soon start spending time with our Year 3 pupils. In addition, the Head Boy, the Head Girl, the four Heads of Houses, the two Activ8ors and the two Boarding Captains are members of the School Council who meet regularly with Mr Coleman and I, providing them with the opportunity to work in partnership with their peers and senior management for the good of the school community.
Becoming leaders at the top of our school will give our Year 8 pupils the chance to develop a special relationship with staff which draws upon their increased maturity and independence. They have been given access to areas during break which are not open to younger children, they read regularly in Chapel and some of them will be touring the school tomorrow with prospective parents at Open Morning.
We believe strongly that the best time to join a Senior School is at the age of 13. During their final year in TPS, as well as taking on responsibilities as leaders of the Prep School, our pupils will spend an increasing amount of time using Senior School facilities and being taught by Senior School teachers and our shared elite sports coaches. It is the best of both worlds and, by the end of Year 8, they will have held on to all of their childhood years as well as becoming self-assured, confident and mature young people, ready to work, play and socialise alongside the young adults of the Senior School.