From the Headmaster - October 2019
Posted by MM - Wednesday 30 October 2019
A busy and successful first half of the Autumn Term saw our new Year 7 pupils visit Stratford for a week-long residential, a well-attended Open Day at the end of September, our annual Speech Night in early October, plus subject trips to Madrid and the beautiful Rhineland – to name just a very few of the many and varied events and activities that have taken place. I remain extremely proud of the many and varied extracurricular opportunities the School offers – some of which you will be able to read about in more detail in the next edition of the School magazine, The Richian, which will be published around Christmas time.
Our guest speaker on Speech Night was former pupil and sports commentator Kevin Hatchard, who was at the school from 1991-1998. Kevin, who has a successful career working for, amongst others, talkSPORT, UEFA, Chelsea FC, BBC, Channel 4, Sky News Radio and RTE, spoke entertainingly to the audience – comprising Year 7 pupils who have just joined the school right through to Year 13 leavers just about to embark on their university courses. His advice that success is preceded by hard work citing many hours of commentating to the television with only himself as the audience strikes accord with the ethos of the School.
Pride in our School
Our Year 8 pupils in particular deserve a special mention for their fantastic work showing parents and primary pupils around the School recently, both on our Open Day and during visits to Sir Thomas Rich’s by Year 6 boys following the publication of the grammar school test results. Our pupils really are fantastic ambassadors for Rich’s, and their pride in the School shone through – having a significant impact I am sure on prospective pupils’ decision making processes. I have no doubt that many of our 2020 intake will choose Rich’s largely based on their positive experience of the School during these tours.
A large group of headteachers and teachers from China recently visited Rich’s as part of a tour of Gloucestershire secondary schools in order to explore the UK education system. It was interesting to see Rich’s through their eyes, and it struck me that some of the facilities we take for granted here are perhaps the most impressive to visitors. Our guests were particularly interested in our heritage - our Honours Roll and Royal Charter, both on display in the School Hall, and were impressed with our playing fields and our well-equipped Sixth Form centre. Once again Rich’s students acted as superb advocates for their School, with the Observators led by Lewis McQueer and Antonia Smellie showing our guests round and overcoming any language difficulties with confidence and maturity. Again, I really don’t need to deliver a panegyric on the benefits of a Rich’s education to guests when the students can so ably and eloquently do it for me, even with a language barrier!
As we start the second half of the Autumn Term, I am pleased to report that work on the new teaching block continues to progress well and even ahead of schedule at the moment – although I am sure the winter weather will have an effect as works progresses, we are currently still on target to complete by Easter 2020. The work has had an impact on already limited parking on and around the School site, and we are mindful of your patience with this, and continued consideration of our neighbours. As ever, any support that parents can give to aid the School in our work to kit out the new building next year would be very much appreciated, and we are extremely grateful for ongoing support and donations from parents through regular giving. Donations to the School Development Fund can be made online here.
November and December
I look forward to a busy few weeks as we head towards Christmas, including a raft of top flight sporting fixtures, the Geology field trip to the Eastern Pyrenees, our German Exchange partners visiting the UK this month, Geography field work in Devon and our always popular trip to the Birmingham Christmas Market and the annual Carol Services in December.
In a first for the School we welcome colleagues from the British Council on 2 December to deliver the first of two free workshops for primary and secondary teachers exploring Global Learning, specifically in the context of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme. This excellent partnership between the British Council and the Department for International Development connects UK and overseas schools through exchange visits and sharing best practice, with the aim of enriching teaching and learning in classrooms around the world. Any parents who work in education and would like to find out more would be very welcome to attend - more details can be found on our Teaching School pages at www.strschool.co.uk/tsa/courses-introduction-to-global-learning-2019 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
While celebrating the diversity of our extracurricular offer it is, of course, important not to gloss over the pursuit of academic excellence, which lies at the core of the School’s ethos. November is a crucial time for Year 11 and 12, with Year 12 exams underway and Year 11 trial GCSE examinations starting later in the month. I am confident that students will achieve the results they deserve, and ask them to bear in mind the words of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who once famously said: “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Good luck to all.
To keep up to date with all the latest School news, look out for regular updates on our website at www.strschool.co.uk, follow us on Twitter @strsglos or like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SirThomasRichsSchool. Many of our departments have their own Twitter and Instagram accounts as well, a full list of which will be available on the School website shortly.
Best wishes for the rest of the half-term break