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October 6, 2023

The Beauty of Choice, Languages and Poetry
Our Year 11 students begun the process of selecting their potential subjects for the Sixth Form last week and it is such a joyous moment for Year 11 students when they can start to think about their exciting future in addition to the daily demands of GCSE preparation. Choice is so important as it allows students to follow their passions and interests which has such a stimulating impact on their desire to learn. Curiosity in education is so important as it is that drive to find out more and ask the difficult questions that leads to ultimate success. It also allows students to play to their strengths rather than having to struggle with subjects that they might not be naturally suited to. As we undertake the curriculum review, this will be first and foremost in our minds. In the short-term, we are looking at introducing a couple of new subjects into the Sixth Form programme to ensure greater breadth and opportunity for all.

European Languages Day
We have also just celebrated European Languages Day and it was wonderful to hear the huge variety of different languages that are spoken here at Saint Felix. It is wonderfully beneficial for the students to mix with different nationalities, experience different cultures, and begin to understand the power and beauty of language. Whether it is by studying an ancient or modern language, students can benefit from the advanced vocabulary that it opens up and potential opportunities in the future. It has been a delight to welcome our second group of Spanish students from Vigo who will be with us until the half-term break; they have added a real sense of vibrancy to the community, and I hope that they and our students will use this as an opportunity to advance their linguistic skills.

National Poetry Day
We have also celebrated National Poetry Day this week and as part of this, we heard an incredibly clever and thought-provoking poem on Monday in assembly on the theme of refugees that was written by Brian Bilston – Refugees – National Poetry Day. Further events have taken place this week and it is wonderful to see students of all ages fully engaged in what is such a powerful literary form. In the spirit of sharing our own favourite poems, I hope you might like this wondrous piece from Keats which is particularly pertinent at this time of the year – To Autumn by John Keats | Poetry Foundation.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Oakman