HeadLines, Friday 10 November
Welcome back! I hope that you’ve managed to have a break and enjoy the change in season. Last half term, the Prep School held the final of the House Song Competition, where each House sang and, in some cases, danced to a song that captured the essence of the House. The winner was Grange; well done to everyone, to the many staff involved and the Heads of House Mr Izzard, Mrs Morgan and Mr Blakeway, for all of your hard work. Not forgetting Mrs Harrod’s energy and drive behind the scenes. Thank you to the PA for setting up our Pumpkin Party for PrePrep pupils. The Pumpkin Competition saw a wonderful range of creatures lining the Atrium!
For all of those who had the opportunity to join the amazing choir tour to Belgium, thank you for your brilliant behaviour. I’m sure that you’ll join me in thanking our dedicated staff for giving so generously of their time.
Our theme this week is appropriately ‘peace’, and with the humanitarian crisis continuing in the Middle East we took time to think about the immense importance of small acts of kindness. Year 2 have today made a touching visit to the War Memorial in Tunbridge Wells. This morning our Scouts, Cubs, Brownies and Rainbows led a moving procession into Assembly. Year 8 marked Remembrance Day with a thoughtful and personal response this morning. The whole School gathered for a two minute silence at 11am which is always a very moving event. Remembrance Sunday, which falls on 12 November in 2023, is a national opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life. We remember the Armed Forces, and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict or terrorism. I look forward to seeing many of you in Tunbridge Wells on Sunday.
Maths Day was not dampened by the weather and pupils right across the school were grouping, sorting, counting, measuring and multiplying. Mrs Ritson was in her element as Alfie summed up the day as ‘excellent’! At our Individual Recital Concert we heard many pupils play a rich repertoire, clearly enjoying the experience, as did the audience! Well done to all of our pupils and thanks to our visiting music teachers and Mrs Harrod.
I am sure you will be aware that with the promotion of Ms Lang to her first headship, it is also an opportunity for the school to develop the Leadership Team structure. We have created two roles Assistant Head (Academic) who will lead on our innovative curriculum ‘Compass’ and Assistant Head (Operation) who will lead on the procedures in school and outreach with our community and beyond. With a very strong field of candidacy, I am delighted to announce that Mrs Julie Wood, presently Acting Deputy Head (Academic) at Francis Holland School, London joins us in the Summer Term as Assistant Head (Academic). I am equally delighted to announce that Mr Duncan Stacey has been promoted to Assistant Head (Operation).
In addition, we have appointed a knowledgeable Maths teacher, Mrs Liz Lloyd. Who is known to many of you already and will work alongside Mrs Ritson in the Maths Department, where Ms Lang has left off (until the arrival of Mrs Wood). We have made an appointment of an experienced Year 4 Form Tutor, Mrs Sian Bishop, who will work with Mr Blakeway in 4TB starting in January. Once the finer details have been finalised, she will visit the school to support a smooth hand over and most importantly meet the pupils. I am sure you will join me in congratulating and welcoming all new staff.
My thanks to the Advisory Group for our detailed discussion regarding the School’s new leadership structure and appointments, as outlined above. In addition, we are very grateful for the broader conversation surrounding the headwinds that independent school education face, regarding cost of living and political threats.
Finally, and not least, we have excellent 11+ results for our Year 6s, everyone did very well indeed and we are very proud of you all. In addition, we have many pupils sitting their independent school exams this week and scholarship exams coming up over the next few weeks – we send you all our best wishes.