Welcome back after a splendid half term break where I hope you had the opportunity to relax, recuperate and spend quality time with family and friends; we are now back into the rhythms and routine of school life and concentrating on the core business of teaching and learning at Sexey’s. However, we have been somewhat distracted by the extraordinary events that took place in the US this week – is the American dream alive or has it turned into a complete nightmare? I am still in shock with the outcome of the most bitter and divisive presidential campaign in living memory and only time will tell if Americans have made the right choice. I only hope that Donald Trump can 'bind the wounds of division' created by this campaign, bring people together and be a decent president that will represent all Americans.
With Oxbridge exams and Maths Challenges having already taken place and Y11 Michaelmas Exams next week with Sixth Form assessments following closely behind, the school is a hive of academic learning, as it should be, and I have been impressed with the conscientious approach taken by our Sexeians – I wish all our students the very best in their academic endeavours. And speaking of endeavours, some of our Y11 and 6th Form students accompanied the School Chaplain Mr Richard Kelley this week on a Young Vocations breakfast visit to meet with none other than the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells. The breakfast was designed for young people exploring God's calling on their lives, and the Archbishop was excited to hear that the students which included Vicky Sanders, Chloe Thomas, Sophie Couper and Caroline de la Harpe, will be starting a Christian Union at Sexey's. Another great opportunity for our students.
Whilst we enjoyed our half term, we had a number of Sexeians representing the school at various events and activities over the holiday. Iris Anderson (Y8) won her class in the NSEA show jumping competition at the Addington Manor County Finals and will now represent Sexey’s and Somerset in the National Finals next year – a tremendous effort! Our Y10 army cadets, Will and Tim Forster represented the school at the Combat Stress event in Castle Cary which is a Veteran’s mental health charity which supports veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. My thanks to them and their parents for their continued support.
The three Bruton schools, the Brownies, the Scouts, members of the armed forces and the community will parade through the town On Sunday to pay their respects at the Remembrance Day service at St Mary’s. It will be a time to remember and commemorate those Brutonians, including those from Sexey’s and King’s, who gave their lives during the Great Wars. In total 63 Sexeians lost their lives fighting for our country and the School’s Armistice Day service this morning remembered them, with Warrant Officer David Hill present at the service to read the Kohima Prayer. Our bugler, Faelan Sydenham (L6) did the school proud as he played the Last Post and Reveille respectively (not an easy thing to do) as did the Heads of School and Senior prefects who read out the names of the fallen. It was a poignant and emotional service and I hope our Sexeians will gain and learn much from this and Sunday’s experience - they are the next generation who I hope will work tirelessly to avoid such conflicts from happening again in the future and will endeavour to continue to bring peace in our world. We have much to thank the courageous and selfless acts of these young men (some as young as our Y11s) who gave their lives in fighting the Great Wars and other conflicts so that we could enjoy our freedoms today and tomorrow - we will remember them, always.