Headmaster's Blog | Saturday 14 September 2019

14 September 2019


Saturday 14 September 2019

Living in unprecedented times as we do, Friday’s headline in The Daily Telegraph was no real surprise. If you missed it, it described a leaked document describing the Labour Party’s ambition to apply VAT on independent school fees and potentially removing the existing relief on business rates for schools which are charities, as we are. Since this first appeared in the Labour manifesto in 2017 we have been considering our options for minimising the impact and we will continue to do so. It’s unfortunate that I am writing this blog having just had this headline shared with me, so I will shake myself down and be positive.

After our first full week, it is very easy to be positive as the boys have been a delight. At the beginning of term, we compared the journey ahead to a flight in an aeroplane. So in assembly on Thursday I reminded them that there is always a bit of turbulence along the way. In the classroom, this manifests itself so differently to when we were children. No longer is the key outcome all about a perfect looking piece of work, as today we admire the draft, the edit, the reflection on mistakes and only then, the final version.

Earlier this week we were delighted that internationally regarded percussion musician, Joby Burgess, delivered a workshop for the older boys. All those involved had a very enjoyable morning and we look forward to seeing Mr Burgess again soon. On Friday, we hosted Tom Palmer, a children's author. The boys were entranced by his talk and when those who contributed well got the chance to play a rugby kick game, they were even more pleased.

The rugby season (football for the U8 and U9 boys) has got off to a fine start and our 'Team of the week' was the U13A team who returned unbeaten from the Dragon School Rugby Festival having not conceded a try. Our master i/c Rugby, Mr Williams, has also introduced 'Player of the Week' and I was delighted to applaud Theo H (4th Form) who was in his first game for Caldicott in the U11E team. He had scored some tries, he was then injured but recovered enough to later run the length of the field for a famous U11E team victory. My thanks go to all the rugby coaches and the new ones too, from London Irish RFC.

There is growing concern within prep and senior schools that the Autumn Term is too long and exhausting with boys becoming significantly unwell over the Christmas holiday period. We share those concerns and we feel the boys need a longer break in the Autumn Term. Whilst ensuring that the length of the academic year in totality is not changed, we have made the decision to move to a two-week half-term in the Autumn Term 2020. The dates for that term are now published on our calendar web page.

Have a lovely weekend.

Jeremy Banks

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