I write to update you on three significant achievements for the school, which have all come together in the past few weeks.
ISI Inspection – Excellent!
We were delighted by our ISI inspection last term, the report of which has just come out. I hope you do not mind my being proud enough to promulgate it in this way (via the link below). You will be glad to hear that we received the very top grades in both areas of assessment (pupil achievements and personal development). Indeed, on the latter, the reporting inspector said he only had one recommendation and that was “to keep up the great work”! I do not subscribe to standing still; but it was nice to hear that we are on the right track. So far as the single recommendation is concerned (with respect to Special Educational Needs), we had already been working on this; I hope to say a little more later in the academic year.
10 Oxbridge Offers
Our boys received 10 Oxbridge offers in January. There are not very many schools in the country who achieve double figures; and indeed we have maintained a year on year improvement over four years now to reach this figure. Five boys received offers to Oxford and five to Cambridge to read Music, History, Maths, Medicine, Economics, Human Sciences, Spanish, Physics, Earth Sciences and Chemistry. Needless to say, we are proud of those boys – who now have some work ahead of them! I am just as proud of those who applied and did not get an offer; it takes ambition to put one’s name forward for the extra work that comes with an Oxbridge application, and it takes guts to face the possibility of rejection. This year we had no fewer than 41 applicants (23 of whom got an interview), which shows the buoyancy, aspiration, courage and academic vibrancy currently in the top years of our school. These are terrific figures. Finally, as I suspect you already know, I see this as a success of the pastoral and extra-curricular programme every bit as much as the academic. It is, to my mind, impossible to separate the pastoral from the academic; we will continue to do our best to look after every boy as a whole child – which is the best way to enable them to do their best, too.
There has been considerable emphasis and effort put into our careers provision since we received understandably critical feedback in our parental survey two and a half years ago. Only nine Independent Schools in the country have a career mark, and it is quite an achievement to have been awarded one so quickly. The report is very thorough and makes interesting reading.
On another note, I attach a link to an article ‘Why sport Matters, which I recently penned for the education magazine Attain. If you have a few moments, please do take a look. I hope that it will make for interesting reading.
As a school we have sometimes been accused of not trumpeting our successes as widely as we achieve them. Please do help us celebrate the above to people both inside and outside our community; they provide wonderful independent validation of the excellence on offer here at your school.
I hope to see you on the touchlines, or in the theatre, concert venues and lecture halls, in the coming weeks.
With all best wishes for 2017.