At the season of farewells and celebrations, I am always delighted to mark individual and collective success through the giving of prizes. One could argue that there does seem to be a tension between the idea of singling out people to say well done and being an inclusive school. And when I’m in my scholarship interviews with Year 6 I ask them whether it’s right to give prizes and have scholarships in an inclusive school. The range of answers is quite illuminating. For some the suggestion that there perhaps might not be scholarships in an inclusive world when they are so near to securing one is potentially a most unexpected hurdle and this question precipitates a complex series of emotions in the children. For those who are able to take their own situation out of it, and consider the question purely philosophically, their responses are pleasingly in line with my own thinking on many occasions. Everyone should be given the chance to excel, whatever their ability and excellence has many, many, forms. In catering for those who sit at the very top in their particular area, one is securing an extremely high standard for everyone around them. That is what motivates me and all my colleagues here to offer the astonishing range of high-quality experiences, some of which we will be celebrating and showcasing on Monday and Tuesday at our prize-giving ceremonies.
I am absolutely certain that in meeting the needs of the very best pupils at St Michael’s I am securing the highest quality opportunity for all.
I enjoyed presenting certificates at the Reception end of year celebration on Wednesday. It was clear to everyone there just how far each child has come on their educational journey. They spoke confidently about their highlights and the artwork on the walls was delightfully varied in the responses that children made to what they had enjoyed this year.
An impressive group of parents kindly volunteered to come and explain their professional roles and how they came to have them this week at our Year 8 careers breakfast event. A DJ, a musician, financiers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, medics, engineers, you name it we had them and they presented with energy and spoke highly of the reaction they had from our Year 8 leavers. We are immensely grateful.
In all of the busyness of the last five days of term I do hope that you will have a chance to thank the teachers and assistants who worked most closely with your children , and the office, IT, catering and grounds staff who make everything work so smoothly for us all at one of the many events where we will share some time together.
I very much look forward to seeing many of you at Prep school sports day tomorrow and at the campout and Old Michaelians’ reunion that is set alongside this incredible day. Watch out for the tweets!
This time next week we should all be in the early days of our long summer holidays.
I hope you enjoy the final few days of what is an incredibly busy and rewarding term. Have a great weekend.