From the Headmaster - October 2016
We always begin the new academic year with a whole school assembly with the traditional handing on of the baton of responsibility from last year's Observators and School Captains to this year's team of Year 13s. We wish our new School Captains, Emma Folkard and William Barradell-Black, well in their demanding roles. Our Annual Prize Giving and Speech Night this year was a splendid occasion where we welcomed back a previous Headmaster of Rich's, Mr Anthony Jarvis. Positivity in the face of challenge was a key thread in his speech to the assembled pupils, parents, staff and distinguished guests. It was particularly good to see so many parents of new Year 7 boys with us on that evening, and we hope everyone enjoyed this celebration of aspiration and achievement.
Our Open Day last week also began with an assembly where I focussed on the familiar Bible story of David's defeat of Goliath.I hoped pupils would understand that this is a story about having a positive attitude in situations which appear challenging and I urge them to consider every opportunity they are offered this year as an excellent way to demonstrate their personal qualities and courage.We want them to opt in, not out of the many exciting challenges which will face them.We have always stated that our aim is to provide the best possible all-round education for our pupils offering a range of opportunities, from monthly visits to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford to taking part in the plethora of musical activities which happen every week.With our renewed focus this year on Literacy in its widest sense of developing cultural knowledge and confidence, I hope our pupils will make the most of what is offered to them here at Rich's.
We welcomed some 300 families to School during the day and evening at our Open Day event.This could not take place without the shared endeavour of pupils and staff.I am most grateful in particular to Year 8 boys some of whom spent the day and evening giving tours to our visitors.They are the authentic advertisement for all the good things our school can offer; their behaviour and attitude speak for themselves and I know that all were impressed by their work on behalf of the school.Of course, they too will have benefited from the responsibility placed upon them to represent the school in this powerful and important way.
Two particularly exciting and purposeful school trips have taken place recently. Sixteen pupils and three members of staff left STRS on 14 th July for Uganda. Whilst there, our pupils had a very varied three weeks, visiting our partner school, PMM near Jinja and St Gonzaga School. They spent time taking part in lessons and sport, helping prepare meals and refurbishing parts of the buildings.A trip of this nature is often truly life-changing for young people, and I know that it was a most memorable positive experience for everyone who went.
More recently, a group of Gifted and Talented pupils spent five days visiting Amsterdam and The Hague.It was while they were attending the UN Conference on World Peace that two Year 12 pupils, Jack Horrobin and George Abrutat, opted to lead a discussion group, which ultimately led to their meeting and impressing Khalid Ahmed Chaudry, Ambassador and Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of International Human Rights Commission.This is an excellent example of our pupils pushing themselves to speak up and take on leadership, with a most positive final outcome.
One final point of administration: you have all received a form which must be completed, signed and returned to your child's Tutor on Monday 3 rd October. This information is required for the Autumn Census.I would be most grateful for the timely return of the form, as school is under obligation to provide this information. Many thanks for your assistance in this matter.