Headmaster's Blog

Friday 14 February 2020

Including last Saturday’s matches against The Dragon, this has been the perfect week to follow on from our positive mental health initiatives last week. As the winter sun shone across Spens, it was a delight to meander from pitch to pitch, watching the boys play great football in all age groups and at all levels (U12 E team: take a bow for reversing a defeat earlier in the season to record a 6 - 2 win). Our partnership with Wycombe Wanderers has been enormously beneficial for the boys, not least as an approach to develop our own coaching talent.

Winners of the Declamations Final

This has been a breathless week and with the Year 5 - 8 Declamations Final on Monday it got off to a very positive start. We were very grateful to have Mr Jon Newton, an Eton College Housemaster, adjudicate and we were treated to a masterclass in how to make all finalists feel appreciated, whilst also choosing winners. I felt all the boys (and many who did not make the final) acquitted themselves brilliantly so for Mr Newton to tell us all how special it was that we continue with such traditional opportunities, I was very pleased indeed. Enormous thanks to Mr Evans and the English Department.

On Tuesday we hosted our first Rugby Walla event with both local prep and primary schools participating. Mr Williams split the boys into several little teams and the competition proceeded with this new version of the game that, I believe, is seen to be better for rugby development than Tag Rugby. Briefly, Tag Rugby encourages players to run away from each other and grab clothing, Walla Rugby looks more like rugby, but don’t ask me where the name comes from! Later in the day I hosted the third of four Year 7 Parents’ House Suppers at home with Sophie and credit where credit is due, as there was an impressive turnout from the parent body and nearly a full house of staff. It was a lovely evening.

On Thursday night the Friends of Caldicott hosted the Caldicott Quiz Night and having enjoyed it so much last year, the event had lots to live up to, but the committee managed it and I would like to express my thanks to Anne Banfield and her team in particular. It was one of those evenings that passed very quickly, it was very relaxed and it was lovely to be part of such a fun evening. The relationship between the school and the parents is a strength of our school and we must cherish it. With the teachers winning last year, there was some pressure and they didn’t quite manage it this time – although 2nd out of ten teams was (reassuringly) impressive.

As I type, news from various non-academic scholarships is flooding in and I am delighted to report that this will be a bumper year again with a ‘full house’ of scholarships. Not all news can be publicised simultaneously for a host of reasons, not least that inevitably we want to deal sensitively with those did not get the news they want. For those boys, they know how proud we still are of them because of their effort in the journey towards the assessment day. Academic scholarships follow later.

Half Term is upon us and I wish you all a restful break.

Jeremy Banks

   

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