Headmaster's Blog | Friday 17 September 2021

17 September 2021


Now school visits are back, I’ve been able to attend three events at contrasting senior schools since the beginning of term. Firstly, I was at Westminster School to share a meal with Dr. Savage, the headmaster, and to hear about his plans for the school. He was very keen to note that whilst he understood our boarding requirements, a place at a central London senior school might be of interest to Caldicott parents at 13. He freely admitted he would be delighted to receive applications from ‘authentically intellectual’ Caldicott boys. Secondly, I paid a brief visit to Stowe School last week in order to attend a memorial service and while I was there I was delighted to see a number of OCs as well as ‘walk & talk’ for a while with Dr. Wallersteiner, the headmaster. This school has transformed itself since I first came across it in the 1980s as an Uppinghamian, winning rugby matches. They have recently switched to the same boarding model as we have here at Caldicott (rather than every weekend ‘in’, with a few exeats). I understand there will be a bus service to London too. Finally, last night, I was at Shiplake College as a guest of the new headmaster, Tyrone Howe, (known not only for school leadership, but for playing rugby for Ireland and a Lions tour). He generously took a group of prep heads for a river cruise to soak up the Henley Festival. Lovely! The appeal here was his energy and enthusiasm as he described the vision he has which will be both academic and broad. Their flexi-boarding has been a huge success and girls join into the lower year groups for the first time in 2022.

Making sure Caldicott is connected to a great variety of senior schools is important to me and the three schools here illustrate the great breadth on offer. I will be seeing all 3rd Form parents between now and Christmas to get the process of choosing a senior school started. It is a privilege to be part of those hugely significant conversations parents need to have and I enjoy it. Parents of younger boys are welcome to see me too, but there are no deadlines until the summer term of 3rd Form. Ma’am Naidoo does not start her work related to school transfer until boys are in the 4th Form, as we complete ISEB pre-test preparation.

The first full week has been a joy, but the fun really started on the ‘b’ of ‘BANG’ a week last Thursday. Having hit the ground running, we are modelling what we want from the boys, we’re explaining our systems carefully and we’re talking a great deal about living by our school core values of perseverance, integrity, courage, compassion and humour. The Information Meetings have been a success so far, but if you do have lingering questions then please ask.

The Friends of Caldicott play such an important role in the esprit de corps of our school and I am very grateful that the committee have organised the first event of the year this Sunday. If you joining the polo event at Richmond, look out for the Caldicott gazebo! Enjoy!

Have a good weekend.