From the Headmaster - May 2019
Posted by MM - Wednesday 8 May 2019
This is a rather unusual time of year in School as our normal rhythms are disrupted by the departure of year groups as they complete their final preparations for public examinations.
Year 11 completed their last day of formal teaching on Thursday 2 May and Year 13 will commence their revision timetable on 13 May. Whilst we insist that some pupils remain in school for the entirety of the examination period, it is always gratifying to see larger numbers of students choose to come into school in order to make the most of the expertise of subject staff. Nevertheless, it is important to remind students that simply being in the building will not help; time should be spent on completing practice examination papers and learning notes either in school or at home.
Being asked to contribute to the Year 13 leavers’ video gave me an opportunity to reflect on the significant contribution that these students have made to so many different areas of school life. It is the real strength of Rich’s that pupils can achieve a balance between high levels of academic achievement and meaningful engagement in the extra-curricular programme. I wish our Year 11 and Year 13 all the very best for their GCSEs and A Levels and I am delighted that many of them will continue their involvement in wider school life over the coming weeks.
Whether taking public exams or not, we are critically aware that the pressures on young people have never been greater and I am particularly pleased that we have been asked to participate as an ‘early adopter’ school in Gloucestershire’s Mental Health Trailblazer initiative. This is being run by NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group together with the ²gether NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire County Council and Teens in Crisis (TiC). Over time, pupils in the school will have access to additional counsellors working alongside NHS staff. They will focus on improving the resilience of students and providing early support to prevent issues from escalating. They will also identify children and young people who need more specialist help and ensure they receive the support they need. Over the last few years, I have become increasingly aware that as the pressures on young people have been increasing, so too have the pressures on parents and in response to this TiC have introduced an advice line for parents on the new page of their website, here.
As you are aware, we want to ensure that we provide an optimal environment in which pupils can flourish. We remain grateful to parents for financial help but also grateful to the Parents’ Association who work tirelessly to support the school as well as raise funds in a variety of different ways. I would like to encourage you to respond to the PA’s invitation to the Summer Fiesta Ball on Saturday 6 July 2019, from 7.00 pm to 12.30 am at the School. It would be great to see parents and friends of the School support this ‘black tie with a splash of colour’ event, which includes a three-course meal, gin bar, magician and live music. Tickets are available here or on Reception.
One of our aims over the next few years is to increase the profile of creative arts. For those of you who came to see this year’s production, School of Rock, you will know that we have many talented performers in School who entertain regularly, not only in School but also out in the local community and beyond. In two weeks’ time, four boys from the School will be treading the boards at the Everyman theatre in Cheltenham in a production of Oliver! Oliver Dyer (Year 8) and Connor May (Year 7) are sharing the lead role, Jack Parrott (Year 7) is playing the part of the 'Artful Dodger', and Finn Marshall (Year 7) is in the children's ensemble. Tickets for the production are selling extremely well but support from school staff and pupils would be welcome. Please follow this link to ticket sales.
We wish them well and all of our students performing in music and drama events this summer season. I also look forward to seeing many of you over the busy weeks ahead.