Monday, 24 October 2016

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 21 October 2016

We stopped and paused for reflection at our annual Speech Day this afternoon where we welcomed our Guest of Honour, Mr Kevin Roberts. Here we celebrated the success of Sexeians past and present and I was thoroughly impressed with the slick organisation, the conduct and maturity of our students, the calm composure of the Wind Band, the assured delivery by the Heads of School (Max and Victoria) and the quality of our guest speaker, Kevin. A truly memorable occasion which highlights all that is outstanding about this fine institution and thank you to all colleagues who made this possible today – a great team effort and the Hobhouse (30 years old this week) looked stunning, including the flowers. There has also been plenty going on at Sexey’s - from numerous House competitions, sporting fixtures, drama rehearsals, music practices, art workshops, PSHE, Open Evenings, the Philosophy and Theology Conference, Boarders’ Church Services, Bath Rugby, TEDxSexey’s, Duke of Edinburgh award and of course the important matter of teaching and learning. It was great to hear the excitement from the Head of Sixth Form, when one of our U6 students had already received an interview from a university – their application was only sent off last week! This bodes well for the future and I wish the U6 well. And of course, the Y11s have their Michaelmas Trial Exams after the half term break (w/c Mon 14 November) and it would be wise for them to use this time productively to prepare for these important examinations, but at the same time to have some rest and to recuperate – it’s vital that there is a balance here.

So as we hurtle towards the end of this busy term I would like to thank all staff and Governors for their efforts in ensuring that our students receive the highest quality teaching and pastoral care – it’s not easy at times but I am grateful for all their hard work, patience and commitment. And also to you too, for all the support you give to our school – by working together in partnership we can all bring out the best in our students.

Have a pleasant and peaceful break.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 7 October 2016

‘Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent’ (as the weather takes a turn for the worse) and ‘All the World’s a Stage’ by William Shakespeare are quite apt writings and poems in light of the school’s celebration of National Poetry Day this week. Yesterday saw dozens of students scribbling away and creating their own poems under the guiding light of the English Department and I look forward to hearing them read their masterpieces. Providing such opportunities within the school day for our students to allow their creative juices to flow is important, and lets them express themselves in a different context. I want to continue to encourage creativity here at the school and hope that our students will take up the many opportunities on offer. Rehearsals for this year’s drama production, Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ are well under way – the work and the world of the bard continues to inspire generations.

On Tuesday we had our 6th Form Open Evening for prospective students and their parents and with over 130 families in attendance, there was standing room only in the Main Hall. Again, our 6th form students were a real credit to their parents and to the school and our speakers articulated their thoughts on their experiences with great passion - not an easy task addressing over 300 people in the Hall, but they did it. We have an outstanding 6th Form (the results at A-level speak for themselves) and a dedicated team who go above and beyond the call of duty. If any of our Y11 parents didn’t get a chance to come in on the evening or would like to visit again, then please do get in touch with Mrs Stallion who will be only too happy to organise a personal visit for you. Speaking of the 6th form, a reminder that our Lower 6th (Year 12) ‘Meet the Tutor’ event takes place on Monday, 17th October at 4pm in the Sixth Form Centre. And of course, my ruminations would not be complete without mentioning the weather and it really has turned cold. I do feel for our intrepid explorers who are out on Exmoor this week looking to gain their DoE Silver award; I am confident our students’ attitude and conduct will be exemplary even when faced with such a challenge. Hockey and rugby matches continued to dominate the Elm and Daisy Fields this week with weekend rugby fixtures against Milton Abbey and weekday matches against Dauntsey’s and Bruton School for Girls. It was wonderful to hear the excitement of an U6 girl who bounded towards my study this morning to tell me all about how the Senior Hockey Ladies’ team managed to win 1-0 against BSfG away - a tremendous feat and a memory which will last with that young woman for a long time to come. I hope she can draw on her experience on that astroturf and use it as inspiration in her everyday life. The Equestrian Team are also competing at Leweston this Sunday.

I look forward to seeing you at the many school events organised over the coming months at Sexey’s (yes, it’s already October!) and, of course, it’s Speech Day in a couple of weeks’ time which also signals the end of this half term. It’s been a very busy half term and with play rehearsals, concerts, services, trial exams, more sporting fixtures to come, things will only get hotter…

Monday, 3 October 2016

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 30 September 2016

From The Head Master

Bonjour! Guten Tag! Buenos Dias! This week saw European Languages Week with the MFL department putting on a variety of activities which engaged and enthused not only the students, but the staff too – from conversations and quizzes to posters and competitions. Acquiring the grammar and linguistic skills to speak and understand another language is so important as it not only helps develop communication but also fosters a deep cultural understanding which nurtures the values of tolerance, respect and kindness – the very values we as a school promote as part of our ethos – studying a language can only be a good thing.  Mandarin Club takes place on Mondays after school, though not a European Language, the unique opportunity is still there for students to take advantage of. Much like the 6th form who have set up their on TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference after half term which was launched this week by the TEDxSexey’s team and by Miss Clem Calkin from TEDxYouthBath – curiosity, endeavour and independence all in abundance amongst our 6th formers. Incidentally, our 6th Form Open Evening takes place next Tuesday (4th October) - do please spread the word; all our Y11 students are expected to attend.

Sporting fixtures galore this week where all four rugby teams, U12, U13, U14 and the 1st XV had impressive victories against Warminster School – a tremendous feat by the boys which hopefully sets the tone for the season ahead, The girls had some encouraging performances in hockey this week against strong opposition at Bruton School for Girls and Dauntsey’s and Huish Episcopi and  we look forward to the block fixture against Stonar School tomorrow morning – the first of our Saturday fixtures this term. I hope the values of respect, integrity and sportsmanship will continue both on and off the pitch throughout this weekend amidst the controversy surrounding the beautiful game, football, which has unfortunately become rather ugly.