School re-opened this week and it’s been great to see everyone back together after the long summer break. A particular welcome of course to our new Year Seven cohort, as well as to our new colleagues. All seem to have settled in well so far – students and adults alike!
The start of the year is always a time of great promise and hope. A chance for students to set their stall out, push themselves that bit more in all that they do, and for everyone in the school to give their best at all times. I said as much to every student across my five assemblies on Monday and Tuesday this week, a theme that I will be picking up again next week too. For those in Years 10 and Year 11, who are of course nearer to the ‘pointy end’ of their school careers, they can take great confidence from the fantastic outcomes for the Class of 2022. The students who have just left did so with comfortably the best non-Covid affected exam results that the school has ever had, showing strong progress from when they joined us and with an amazing 33% of all grades achieved being at grade 7 or higher. As I said to Year 10 and Year 11 this week, grades like these are there for the taking if they want them. ‘All’ they need to do is work hard, seek advice and never give up.
Starting the new year has also been refreshing due to the lack of a need for Covid restrictions. The memory fades fast, but just 12 months ago we were still at a stage of ‘masks on the move’, windows wide open and nothing ‘extra’ on top of the curriculum. I cannot express how good it is to have the school running 99% normally again.
Turning to the world outside of school, I’m writing this blog after following the news coverage of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I’m aware that not everyone reading this blog will be a supporter of the royal family, and not everyone will share the same level of sadness regarding The Queen’s death. However, you don’t have to be a royalist to appreciate that yesterday was a monumental day in the history of this country. The Queen has indeed been a constant presence over such a long time and her loss will no doubt be felt deeply my many, many people. We spend a lot of time in school promoting in students a sense of responsibility, consideration and decency, three qualities that The Queen showed in abundance. Long live the King.