“Time and space for a full education”

Friday 26th May 2017

May 26, 2017 at 10:33 AM

Random acts of kindness

I have recently been particularly proud of the very many children who have taken up an initiative I began in an assembly by instigating random acts of kindness amongst the community. This has had a profound effect on many areas of the school over the past month. The idea was simple: tutor groups were to hatch ways in which they could fulfil acts of kindness of any variety towards anyone of their choosing.  Many chose to do so in the form of special ‘thank yous’ to some of the unsung heroes responsible for areas such as our food, our health and the behind-the-scenes running of the school - and they, in return, got to see and reap the happiness this bestowed: many surprised recipients were incredibly moved. Year 3 pupils made lovely cards with teabags on the front to hand out to staff who deserved a cuppa; Year 5s wrote letters and have ideas to support others’ stationery needs in exam week (!); some Year 6s made heart-shaped thank you notes to go with flowers and chocolates; whilst some Year 7s distributed themed thank you notes to people for being ‘turtle-y’ brilliant. All of this has created a real buzz around school which has been lovely to witness.

Food, glorious food

It is a delight to know that lots of our pupils have a genuine interest in their education and actions in the context of the wider world and this is something we seek to promote. Our Food Committee is made up of pupils from every form group from Year 1 upwards, and one topic that’s featured heavily on their radar recently has been the ongoing debate about the environmental impact of how much meat we consume, as well as health and government guidelines on the matter. After much discussion, the Committee came up with the idea of trialling ‘Meat-free Monday’ – essentially, one day a week where we don’t serve meat at lunchtime. Of course, no meat means less expense and the pupils were asked how they’d like to spend the savings. It was decided that they’d like to buy blenders in order to make fruit smoothies, so this is currently underway. The ‘pupil voice’ is an active and important feature of school life and is and will be sought for feedback on any committee initiatives also.

Focus groups

Talking of feedback, a special thank you to those of you who took the time out of your busy days to attend our Focus Groups this month. It has been incredibly useful to me, and indeed Lizzi Gardner, to hear your thoughts and opinions about all aspects of the school – and we have welcomed the positivity and constructive contributions. Going forwards, we will be running future such focus groups and we would love to see as many of you there as possible. To complement the focus groups, the ongoing presentations to parents and looking forwards, the governors and I are also in the process of commissioning a well-reputed independent educational consultant to conduct a survey of parents’ views. This will be available securely and anonymously online and sent out to parents as soon as it is ready. We’d like to invite as many of you to contribute to this as possible.

Sporting success

Many congratulations go to Catherine H. who recently played in her U12 Yeovil & Sherborne hockey team in the national club finals, having been county champions and then West regional champions: a tremendous achievement! Meanwhile, our equestrian team achieved two excellent second place positions in Class 1 and Class 2 at the recent Queen’s College showjumping competition, with individual honours for Lola, Marcia and Anouska: quite rightly, there were armfuls of rosettes, cups and sashes to present at assembly and our thanks go to the parents who tirelessly support and enable the riders who represent the school. The final sporting highlight for this week goes to Finley who, after another demanding round of the British Youth Nationals Motocross Championship (this time in Northern Ireland), retained his third place in the national rankings in his rookie season. We shall watch this young man’s future with great interest…

Boarders’ Morning Fun Run - Update

And finally, as promised, an update on the Boarders’ Morning Fun Run initiative started by our Grads. Their aim was to run a collective 100 miles by the end of term, and I’m delighted to report that they’ve already clocked up 90 miles, and we’re only half-way through the term! Well done to them all, and happy running.

Until next time,

Tim Butcher