From the Headmaster - January 2015
This winter to date has been uncharacteristically mild and until the last couple of days, snow has not been a problem, but I should nonetheless like to remind all pupils and parents of the arrangements should the weather take a turn for the worse. Firstly, we will not close the School unless it is unsafe for us to remain open. This may include situations where very few staff can travel to School and it would be impossible for us to supervise students adequately. However, normally a number of pupils and staff, including myself, can walk to School, whatever the situation, and therefore it seems right that they should have the option to come to School if they can. If a weather situation serious enough to threaten school opening hours arises, the message will appear on the school website, www.strs.org.uk so do please check the website first in the event of worsening conditions. We will also inform the Local Authority if we close, who publish information on their website; www.glosclosedschools.com This news is often reported on BBC Radio Gloucestershire (104.7 FM/1413 AM/Digital).
If the school buses operate in the morning, but the weather deteriorates during the day and the bus companies take the decision to send the afternoon buses to school early, we shall ensure that the pupils who use those services are made aware of this and seen safely onto the coaches. It is important that your son or daughter has instructions as to how he or she should gain access to their home in this eventuality and I would be grateful if you could discuss this matter with them. Where the School is closed during the course of the day, there will be plenty of staff on hand to supervise pupils until they have been collected or made arrangements with their parents about travelling home. It would be most helpful for your son or daughter to have a telephone number on which we can contact you on such a day if you are not at your usual contact point. Pupils should not leave the school site without an agreed plan of action with their parents about how they should travel home.
On a completely different note, I am delighted to report on pupils who have successfully gained places at Oxford or Cambridge this year.Seven candidates have received Oxbridge offers. 4 pupils for Oxford: Samuel King, New College, Philosophy; Ben Tucker, Jesus, Chemistry; Daniel Kane, St Catharine's, Chemistry and Christopher Rawlings, St. Catharine's, Economics and Management, and 3 for Cambridge: Kieran Flannery, St. John's, Engineering; Harkeerit Kalsi, Fitzwilliam, Economics, and Ben Kwok, Fitzwilliam, Land Economy.
Work on the Pavilion plan has been delayed slightly over the last 4 weeks due to problems with drainage and bad weather. However, I was assured in a meeting yesterday that plans are underway to make up the time once the weather improves! It is really pleasing to see that the Biathlon has raised £5,700 through sponsorship so far.Money is still trickling in and senior pupils are still yet to swim and run.
Our Jazz Night is scheduled for Friday 6 February at 7.30 pm in the School Hall to which you are all welcome and, despite already selling almost 200, tickets are still available from Reception for the Parents' Association Valentine's Ball to be held on Saturday 7 February 2015 at Hatherley Manor. Do please come if you are still undecided! This will prove to be a busy but enjoyable week.
I must mention the School's 1st XV match against Millfield (away) last Saturday (probably the best rugby school in the country, who won the St Joseph's Festival and the RFU Champions Cup this year). The 1 st XV started extremely well, Fred Morrish scoring a try in the first few minutes after a scintillating break from Peter Carter. Millfield came back to score two tries when Rich's had a player sin binned and they scored a further try in the second half. However Rich's scored a try from a driving lineout with James Foylan the scorer to make it 21-14 to Millfield. Then with ten minutes remaining, we threw everything at the Millfield defence but we were unable to breach it and the game finished with a Millfield victory. The effort put in by all the boys involved was incredible and they were very unlucky not to come away with a draw.It is unusual to be pleased with a loss, but the fact that we were so close is testament to the boys' hard work and the outstanding coaching of Rhys Williams. I cannot think of a better Director of Sport in the country. The U16s also played extremely well on Saturday, winning 33-0 at home against Northampton School for Boys, demonstrating a strong forward performance excellently marshalled by half backs Will Allenby and Luke Ritter.
Finally, my thanks go to parents who completed the recent survey.Currently, Kirkland Rowell are analysing the data in detail, comparing comments from different year groups, etc. I will report back key findings later in the year. This is a short term and I pleased to say that pupils have started with the energy and industry needed in order to make the most of the learning opportunities on offer.