Red boat climbing frame

Head Master's Blog

Autumn Term 2019

As I sit writing my first blog of the new academic year, the campus is alive with activity and the sun is shining. After the long summer break, it has been good to get back to normality and this sentiment has certainly been echoed by our parents as I have greeted them at the gate of a morning. Blundell’s is back in action for another year and it promises to be an exciting one, with new pupils across every year group and new staff, all of whom have settled back in to the rhythm of school life. There has been a buzz about the place these last two weeks and that is what makes this place so special.

Outdoors Outdoors

OutdoorsThe Summer edition of our Review magazine will be with you very shortly and I hope that you enjoy reminiscing about all that took place over the summer term. Our Year 6 leavers are now firmly ensconced in Year 7 and it has been lovely to see many of them in their new uniforms, waiting for younger siblings at the Prep School. They look so grown up and are clearly enjoying the new opportunities in School House. OutdoorsFor our Pre-Prep and Prep pupils, there is much to look forward to, not least the introduction of ‘Wild Wonders’, our very own bespoke Forest School sessions which take place in our grounds, created by Mrs Morris and her very talented father. I joined the Nursery children for their first experience and it was wonderful to see their excitement as they crossed the ‘troll bridge’ and then turned the corner to see the different resources that had been built, including the most incredible mud kitchen that you will ever see - sparkling clean but not for very long as our Nursery children, head to toe in purple all in one waterproofs busily started preparing delicious feasts for their teachers to enjoy. One little boy had clearly been enjoying some al fresco dining over the summer as he proudly announced that he was having a BBQ as he carefully flipped the wooden ‘burgers’ – yummy!

In my first Prep assembly of the year, I asked children to think about not just what they want to achieve over the coming months but how they will achieve their goals. What can they do to make their dreams come true? It’s all very well having big ideas but without a clear plan, a path of pursuit, those dreams may remain just that, and we want to further develop every child’s understanding as to how they can take control of their learning. We spent a great deal of time developing positive mindsets last year but also helping children to see how they can use feedback to make progress across every part of their lives. For many the impact was remarkable but there is more to be done and help from parents will continue to be vital. At the start of this new year, we are keen to forge ever stronger links between home and school, working together to help your children to become the very best version of themselves. On that topic… I will be sharing my annual ‘Good Manners’ assembly this week in the hope that we can get a few good habits in place, not just around school but also at home. I know all too well how things slip a little over the summer, during BBQ season when knives and forks are less necessary, and when we don’t have Mrs Moys and her team to keep a watchful eye over what we are eating. Please reinforce good habits at home and in return we will endeavour to reduce the number of occasions when you can identify what your child has had for lunch by the stains on their shirts and dresses!

The air of positivity that has been so evident these last few weeks around school is in stark contrast to what is going on in the wider world. Like many of you, I am exhausted and increasingly frustrated by the rhetoric of our politicians, a number of whom think that in order to win populist favour with an ever more divided public, they can gleefully use the Independent sector as a punching bag. Leaked documents indicating that a Labour government would abolish business rates for Independent schools and add VAT to fees, potentially even ‘integrating’ Independent schools in to the state system, does make the already turbulent political landscape look all the more alarming. It is an unprecedented time in British politics and as an educator of young people, charged by Government to promote fundamental British values of democracy, justice and the rule of law, I continue to be deeply concerned that our politicians are making a mockery of the very principles and values that they themselves have insisted that we teach in schools. In simple terms, what sort of example are they setting for the children? For those of you who were able to join us for the Welcome meetings this last week, you will have heard us speak of our plans for the development of our curriculum, with the key intention of preparing our children for life after school, life in the real world, a life that may look very different from the one we are experiencing today. Let’s all hope that the months ahead provide greater clarity as to what that future will hold for all of us. I won’t hold my breath!

Touch Rugby TournamentI will take this opportunity to draw your attention to events over the next two weeks, including an E-Safety presentation for parents on Tuesday 24th September, between 4.45 and 6.00pm. Touch Rugby TournamentWhen we last put on a presentation of this type some two years ago it was very well attended but two years is a long time in the world of E-Safety so I would urge as many parents as possible from across the school to come along. This includes parents of children who headed up to the senior school over recent years. A lot of the content is likely to be useful for you so please do spread the word and come along. We will also be holding our Prep Harvest Festival on Friday to which all parents are warmly invited. It will not necessarily be the most traditional of formats, but if you are a fan on ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’ then you’ll enjoy what I have planned!

Touch Rugby Tournament Touch Rugby Tournament

Monday morning update – I couldn’t finish my first blog of the year without mentioning the events of yesterday (Sunday) afternoon as the inaugural Blundell’s Touch Rugby Tournament was played on Big Field. In blazing heat, the Blundell’s Braves, split across three teams, performed very well indeed against some talented opposition. Touch Rugby TournamentIn a close final, it was the Blundell’s Senior School staff (and guests!) who came out victorious and were worthy winners. My thanks as always go to our FoBP Committee who gave up their time on a Sunday to keep everyone fed and watered and a special mention to Tom Cowle who masterminded the whole event. If you see some very weary looking men this morning, you’ll know why – even my commute across the car-park to the office was a bit of a struggle this morning!

Enjoy the week ahead.

Mon 16th Sept 2019, 08:11