From the Headmaster - December 2019
Posted by MM - Friday 20 December 2019
The birth of a child in a stable for Christians is the beginning of a most significant event. It marks the start of the recognition, at the heart of the Christian faith, that people need help to live positive and fulfilling lives.
Of course, Christians believe that God became poor so that through his poverty, humanity might be rich. I think that we can all learn from the Christmas story whether we are Christian, Muslim, believe in a God of any kind or don't believe in God at all. For Christians, the narrative of human vulnerability and divine mercy is of course central to faith, but we can all recognise the importance of sacrifice and humility in helping make the world a better place. I reminded students of this key message and that we achieve success more easily if we work together during the final assembly of the term.
Ethos of the School and our curriculum
At Rich's, we endeavour to provide an education that promotes tolerance, kindness, leadership, a sense of belonging, pride, outstanding relationships, the highest standards of behaviour, respect for each other and excellent mentoring and social, moral and spiritual guidance. Specifically, our curriculum aims to provide pupils with high levels of core knowledge and understanding, develop self-discipline and a thirst for learning, foster enquiry and creativity and encourage them to think for themselves. We hope that by valuing academic endeavour, as well as helping them to become resilient and want to work with each other, their intellectual curiosity will be developed and ultimately they will be successful academically and in their lives more generally. To this end, we now have a draft 'curriculum policy' which may be found via the link in the end of term email.
Of course, all-round personal development is often achieved because of young people's involvement in activities beyond the classroom and whilst the final few weeks of an undeniably lengthy term, when we are all tired, can seem rather too busy, seeing the performances of 'Julius Caesar' last week and attending the splendid carol services this week has reminded me of the importance of these events that are at the heart of our School community. I would like to thank all the parents who have supported their child's involvement in the production or musical activities whether that has involved helping with the learning of lines or collecting them from school at odd times or bringing in a forgotten musical instrument! We hope that the self-confidence they will require in the future is founded on their achievements here.
Governors' Parental Survey
Whilst we are proud of our approach, we are always striving to receive independent feedback and we have invited Kirkland Rowell to conduct a parental survey in order to gather opinion on the School. I would be grateful if you could spare ten minutes to complete the survey which can be accessed via the link in the end of term email, telling us how you think we should be spending our time and resources to make the School the best that it can be; your feedback is most important to us. I know teachers individually scrutinise the results and analysis and, like our pupils, they really value your views. The closing date for submissions is Friday 17 January 2020.
Pupils' wellbeing and mental health
One of the areas we have tried to develop in the last year or so is supporting pupils' general wellbeing and providing appropriate interventions when they experience low mood, anxiety and or when their worries have an impact on the lives. Our work with the Trailblazer programme in the county has continued to progress and pupils are now able to refer themselves into the service. This 'self-referral' may be accessed via the link in the end of term email. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss this further. Parents sometimes need someone to talk to in confidence and I would like to remind you of the Tic+ Parent Support Advice Line 01594 372777 and the Online text chat that parents can access anonymously here
For me, the spirit of the School was completely epitomised during two recent events: The Remembrance Assembly where the whole school stood in solidarity with our German Exchange partners and veterans to recognise the commitment of former students who gave their lives in conflict, and more recently during Rich Boucher's funeral when boys and girls lined the street outside by the school gates to pay their respects to the funeral cortege as it passed the School. Rich was a carpenter at the School and a much valued member of the School community. At the end of the moving funeral service, attended by many members of staff, the celebrant read these words from AA Milne's Winne the Pooh and I chose to end the final assembly of the year with them and I feel that they are appropriate to end this final bulletin before the festivities:
"If ever there is a tomorrow
when we're not together ...
there is something
you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think."
As always, I am enormously grateful to pupils, parents, staff and governors for your commitment to the School; I wish you all a peaceful holiday.
Richian 2020 is our ambitious fundraising campaign seeking to raise £170,000 to complete the new Business, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Careers and Outreach Centre and continue with our Sports’ Development Plan.
We need parents, local partners, alumni and businesses to help us achieve our goal – better facilities at Sir Thomas Rich’s mean an even better environment for our current and future pupils, as well as better opportunities for the local community, and will secure Sir Thomas Rich’s development well into the middle of the 21st Century.
To read more, click here.