Friday, 24 February 2017

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 24 February 2017

Half term came and went in a flash, but the foul weather seems to be still here! With Storm Doris ravaging most of the United Kingdom yesterday, our sportsmen and women were also creating a storm on the games fields against the likes of King’s Arthur’s, All Hallows’, Sandroyd, The Blue School and Bruton School for Girls. Well done too to our Year 7 footballers Ben George, Charlie Hawkins and Morris Moore who – we have just learnt - have made the final round of the SW District trials. Have we really only been back a week? We also saw plenty of inspiring performances by our musician at Acoustic Night this week which saw members of the String Group, Perla Walker, Hugo Peel, Lily Nuttall-Redman, Annabel Thrippleton, Cecily Minting et al take to the microphone and belt out such classics as the Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’ and Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’. They played to a packed and appreciative audience and I am delighted that so many of our students (and staff) are engaged in music at the school – an essential part of the all-round, holistic education we endeavour to provide all our students. During Lower School assembly, we reminded our students to stay on TRaK – the Christian values of tolerance, respect and kindness which underpin everything we do here at Sexey’s and forms an integral part of our identity and community. They are clearly displayed in the school’s reception and in all that we do –  please reinforce these values at every opportunity; they are important.  And the Assistant Head (Pastoral), Mr Clackson gave a thought-provoking talk on the effects of bullying, which we take very seriously here at Sexey’s and I hope that our students will continue to be model citizens both in and out of school in all that they do and reflect our core values.

And as the Y10s get ready for their Trial exams next week, our Equestrian team competes in the NSEA Inter-Schools’ Show Jumping Competition at West Wilts on Saturday, our 1st VII rugby team compete at the prestigious Canford VIIs rugby tournament on Sunday, our Y11 geographers prepare to head off to Devon on their field work studies, some of our Y11s visiting Exeter College, Oxford, I try to find my black tie for next week’s PSA Spring Dinner & Dance (only a few tickets left so do get yours quickly!), and our charity fund raising event for the Children's Liver Disease Foundation ‘Big Yellow Friday’, I do wonder where February and the half term holiday went. We seem to be cooking up our own storm here.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 10 February 2017

Our Jacobean founder, Hugh Sexey would have been proud of this week’s School Production of Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ (written between 1604 and 1606), which was performed with such confidence and aplomb by our students. The power and raw emotion from the actors set the tone for the stunning performance and the lead, played by Jasmin Dennis, has been compared to Glenda Jackson’s take on the role in the West End. High praise indeed. The cast and crew have again produced a play which has further raised the bar for future productions - expectations will be high and the challenge even greater. From front of house to backstage, from the music to make up - everybody has an important part to play and they do it so well; a self-less and caring community wanting the best for each other. Setting high standards and challenging our students to do things differently is what we strive to do and ‘King Lear’ was no exception. The upcoming review in ‘What’s on Somerset’ (which I encourage you to read) sums it up well and reflects the commitment and passion our students and staff have for our special school. Drama continues to excel at Sexey’s and with Trinity Guildhall examinations on offer to our Sexeians and our partnership with the Youth Cinema Foundation, I am pleased to see Drama both at school and in the community, going from strength to strength. The summer production will be our interpretation of the hit musical ‘Bugsy Malone’ which should be a real treat and I’ve been asked to sit in the front row…

Speaking of community, a group of young Sexeians went to Sexey's Hospital on Monday to meet with the current Master, Canon Paul Jenkins, who gave them a tour of Sexey's Hospital, met with the residents and then presented us with a new school flag to continue our strong and healthy relationship, something our founder would be very proud of. We thank Canon Jenkins for his tireless support of the school and wish him well as he retires next month. His legacy will last for many years to come, both in school and in our community.
And so to half term – while the students are enjoying an early start to a well-deserved break, colleagues from Sexey's and schools from all over Somerset have come together today as a learning community to share best practice and to learn from one another in what works best in the classroom - over 1000 teachers in over 40 schools have been working closely together for the benefit of the next generation. Community on an even bigger scale and a privilege to be a part of.

The RBS Six Nations Rugby continues this weekend, and I will be watching the game tomorrow with our local community - all sorts of communities coming together for a variety of reasons on a local, national and international level; it can only be a good thing. I wish you all a pleasant and peaceful half term.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 3 February 2017

Last Friday saw the PSA put on a fabulous show when we had a great turnout for the PSA Annual Quiz in the Main Hall. The whole event was expertly compered by our very own Mr Keith Partridge and a team called ‘The B Team’ successfully won back the title! The atmosphere was competitive and at times you could hear a pin drop as the cogs were whirring incessantly; the food was delicious and there was plenty of fine cheese too courtesy of Barber’s. I cannot thank the PSA enough for all their hard work and the time they give up to organise such excellent events (the Spring Ball is next month) which raises important funds for our school - benefiting our students hugely in the long term. The Quiz will no doubt be back again next year, so get those thinking caps on and start revising!

It’s now only a week before the end of what has been a truly busy and eventful half term. Next week, our thespians tread the boards in Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ and I urge you all to come along and support this fine cast who have been rehearsing ‘come what may’ (that is in fact a quote from the bard himself). The U16 Girls' netball team triumphed in the Somerset Netball Competition at Westfield at the beginning of the week by winning all 5 of their matches convincingly and the U15 Girls’ Rugby training at Castle Cary RFC was a truly muddy affair and quite timely with the 6 Nations Rugby kicking off this weekend. The U13 Boys' Hockey at Holyrood also proved popular this week and we hope that boys' hockey gains momentum here at the school. 

During Lower School assembly we were treated to a scintillating performance of the Stranglers’ ‘Hanging Around’, by the 'Rock Scholars' who had everyone in awe. They will be next performing at Acoustic Night later this term, so do please come along and support them as well as all of our musicians. And finally we had the school Chaplain, Mr Richard Kelley, speak to the students about the importance of listening to one another and respecting each other’s opinion  – something we, politicians and world leaders can learn to do from time to time.