One of the highlights of my week is listening to my colleagues at our weekly staff briefing meetings, talking about something they would like to share that was special in the previous week. Sometimes it’s something that takes weeks to organise, like the Big Write which did take place at the end of last week, following its cancellation earlier in the term due to bad weather. At other times it’s a small, significant step taken by one child that we start with and this is equally important to each of us. If you have good stories to share about your children please do send them by email.
We all very much enjoyed our terrific Open Morning on Wednesday, seamlessly organised to ever higher standards by Jane Thornton and her marvellous team. What marked out this Open Morning was that we attracted and met so many parents whose views and values are keenly aligned with those of the school and I was very moved at the generous offer of one parent registering her child here to also support the bursary fund, so that others could enjoy time here alongside her own child. We will be revisiting the idea of how we can increase the diversity in our school as part of next year’s development plan and I look forward to sharing with you some projects which we will be launching to take this forward.
As swimming gala season is very much upon us, I’d like to draw attention to a new rule which is signposted in the swimming pool, but has not been well publicised amongst the parent body. It is now not permitted for parents to photograph children in the pool. With our safeguarding hats on and knowing that the school is vulnerable when many visitors are on site, this is the simplest way of preventing a voyeuristic approach to photographing children with very few clothes on. We do hope you can all see the reasons for this, sad though they may be.
Last week I was invited to an orchestral concert performed by choristers at the three London choir schools, St Paul’s, Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. It was delightful to meet Jonathan Milton, the Head of Westminster Abbey school, whose pupils are entirely choristers and who was a pupil at St Michael’s many years ago. I hope to do a feature and interview on him in this publication in due course, but it was delightful to hear his happy memories of times at St Michael’s and to learn that he, as I do now, had lived in Shoreham Village.
Today in Prep we raised money through wearing an item of purple for the Neville Centre, https://www.youngepilepsy.org.uk/news-and-events/news/uks-first-purpose-built-childhood-epilepsy-centre-opens.html?jjj=1526020136016; a research Centre named after Tristan N’s grandfather, Professor Brian Neville, for his life’s work in research into childhood epilepsy and its treatments.
Tristan made a wonderful film about his grandfather for his challenge homework project and we are delighted to be supporting such a worthwhile charity.
There is great excitement brewing amongst the parent body about this weekend’s spring ball and I congratulate everyone involved in this huge operation and thank all the estates team here, who have stopped what they normally do to help put up the splendid marquee.
I look forward to seeing many of you on the dance floor! Have a great weekend.