Another two weeks have flown by and the end of term is almost in sight. We celebrated the end of Common Entrance in style two weeks ago with a wonderful evening of picnics and music. Only at Windlesham would you find an atmosphere like Glastonbury Festival.
We are now celebrating our Ones’ C.E. results. They have all passed and there were some fantastic results. They all gained a place at their first choice Senior School, a range 32 different schools. Many of the results are superb including one girl subsequently being awarded an Academic Exhibition after gaining straight As in every exam (9 in total).
I am immensely proud of this year’s results, and believe that the schools they are going to are very lucky to be gaining such fine young people.
Whilst all the good news on the academic front has been pouring in our Athletics season has started with considerable success and Sports Day in a weeks’ time promises to be especially impressive. My wife Rachel and I spent last Wednesday supporting our Senior Girls at St Edward’s Oxford as they had qualified for the RMCF National Rounders Finals. They can claim to be the third best U13 Rounders Team in this country after all their efforts on the hottest June day for decades!
Finally I can announce that Windlesham is to be the first independent school in the county to be awarded a Gold Award for the quality of our S.M.S.C provision (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development of pupils).
I am danger of letting this go to my head but seeing the large pile of reports that I have yet to start writing soon brings me back down to reality!!
It is remiss of me not to have updated my blog for a few weeks but I do have plenty of valid excuses. My wife Rachel and I have been out to Hong Kong and Beijing for the best part of ten days. It is very important that we make the effort to visit our current parents who are the other side of the world and who received us so warmly. In addition we always enjoy the privilege of meeting prospective parents whilst also understanding more about the different cultures and customs.
Once again we both received a wonderful welcome back from both the children and the staff. It was also very pleasing to return to a spell of glorious weather. All this had made the run up to the half term that much more enjoyable.
I was delighted to learn from all the teaching staff that school exams had run smoothly. We also like to think all our CE Candidates are well on track. We pride ourselves in giving them a considerable amount of support and guidance regarding revision and anxiety management.
I am hoping the children and staff enjoy a really happy half term and return refreshed for what is the best four weeks in the school calendar as far as I am concerned.
The summer term is well and truly up and running. Whilst the temperature is somewhat bracing, we have been blessed with a good deal of sunshine which inevitably lifts staff and children’s spirits . It’s always so good to kick start this term with the children being able to enjoy themselves outside. I have been known to say that there is no better environment than an English prep school in the summer term especially if it is in a rural location and there are lots of boarders.
The setting and general atmosphere here at Windlesham is, I suggest, hard to beat. Rachel and I are always very touched seeing the children so happy to be back at school and it is really gratifying to hit the ground running as far as routine is concerned. We have twenty new children and they all have settled well and in a seamless way which is very pleasing.
I was able to celebrate with the school in our first assembly of the term that our haul of scholarships had increased by no fewer than five more awards, all to Marlborough which is no mean feat. I cannot recall ever having six scholarships to one school in the same year. It is of course heads down for the remaining scholarship candidates and all our common entrance candidates.
Our production of ‘Wind and the Willows’ involves the vast majority of juniors, so they are well occupied over the next few weeks.
I am delighted that the whole school photograph is now behind us, the weather conditions were near perfect and in such an important year in the history of the school the occasion was all the more significant.
It has been an interesting final few days for all sorts of reasons. My wife, Rachel, and I always find it extremely hard to go away together during the term time not because we do not have complete faith in our Senior Management team but simply due to our everyday involvement in all aspects of the school life.
Last week we flew out to The Cayman Islands to meet up with current parents and give a presentation to prospective parents. Despite it being rather close for comfort to the end of term we managed to escape and enjoyed a very productive three day visit.
It was lovely to come back in time for the Windlesham traditional end of term Easter Egg hunt around the grounds, followed up by my favourite Assembly of the term, Prize Giving.
It has been a roller-coaster few days sorting out all the end of term routines and the very ambitions performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria was quite daunting to say the least. I can safely say that it was an extraordinary event. The M.F.T was packed to the rafters and the whole occasion could not have been better orchestrated. As well as current parents many Alumni and past parents were very moved by the spectacle and quality of the performance. It really was an evening to remember forever.
What a great way to conclude this extraordinary term.
The euphoria of the ISI Inspection report has not died down but we have certainly moved on.
It is lovely how success breeds success in schools and what a week we have enjoyed. Several more scholarships have been won, our chess teams and cross country runners have excelled themselves. We have one boy who has now played 100 chess matches for the school and is likely to surpass the record of 105!
Much to their delight both our Under 12 and Under 13 squads netball teams have qualified for the I.A.P.S. Winners and runner up of this respective Regional Tournaments. Our Under 13 girls have also reached the finals of the Sussex Cup so are faced with a series of a very competitive matches to finish their incredibly impressive season.
Last Friday all our Governors were invited to spend the whole day in school. I know it’s an event they each thoroughly enjoy and it is equally valued by the staff and children. The feedback has been very gratifying and is a really appreciated. The day culminated in our Senior Public Speaking Competition which was as entertain as ever. We then had a combined Governors and staff dinner which was most enjoyable and as you might have gathered there was much to celebrate.