Headmaster's Blog - 26th February 2018
One of the things that I have enjoyed since starting at Wellingborough is a feature of our whole school Senior Leadership Team meetings, which take place each Friday before lunch.
At the end of the meeting – and we fit this in, even if something else has to be postponed – we go around the table and each person tells us about their "happy moment" of the week. This is something that they have seen, been involved in or heard during the previous four days that has been, for them, a highlight. It is an excellent way to end the meeting – and the working week – as it reminds us all of the wonderful events and people at the School, and gives us the opportunity to share the joy.
From a Senior School perspective, this week was something of a first, as both Deputies and I were in complete agreement as to what our happy moment was. Over the past five days we have undertaken a Lower Sixth Evaluation Week, in which four of us – Mrs Barnhurst, Mrs McAuley, Mr Wiseman and me – visited every single Lower Sixth class. It is not just a series of social visits; we look at the learning and observe the written work that has been done by the students over the past term and a half. We comment on the ambience of the lesson and anything else that is relevant to the progress and achievement of the students. Owing to the wonder of technology, our comments are uploaded before we leave the room, and we will now be able to analyse what we saw, look for common themes and provide feedback to the staff.
The Evaluation Week was the happy moment for all of us. For me, getting into eight lessons in the week was, in itself, a pleasure as it was a chance to witness what the School is really about and what it is striving to do. I started it with high expectations and I was not disappointed. The quality contained within our student body was a delight to see, and I was bowled over by the knowledge, analysis, debate, questioning and tenacity of our Lower Sixth. The relationship between the students and their teachers was also an integral part of what impressed me; there was clear evidence of genuine partnerships in the lessons, and a real understanding of working together.
Just as I thought things couldn't get any better, I had the additional pleasure of attending the Lower Sixth Gala Dinner on Friday evening. This annual event sees the entire year group cook and serve a meal for around eighty people – their parents and staff – in our Dining Hall. Their quality shone through again, and it was a very enjoyable event. In the week that our School Prefect application process closed, it was good to see so many of that cohort rising to a unique challenge.
Whatever else happens this week, we will be looking ahead to next Saturday's Open Morning. Much of the preparation is in place and we will be able to show the School off at its best to prospective parents, as long as the Russian weather doesn't prove too much of a hindrance! If we can shine the spotlight on the School in the same way as the Lower Sixth have shone this week, then it will be a very successful day.