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February 29, 2024

Creativity is King!

In assembly on Monday, I talked about the importance and significance of creativity, one of the five values that we chose as a community during the Autumn Term. I was able to highlight the performance of Bugsy Malone as a wonderful example of students, staff and parent collaborating in the most effective manner to produce a joyous evening of fun, entertainment and creativity. Whilst creativity is embedded in the performing and creative arts, and I am encouraging all students to participate in these areas in some way, there is also a need for them to become creative thinkers. This became the main theme of my talk, as I urged them to look at problems and difficult situations in different ways and not just follow the norm or default to the same thinking as their peers. We need this generation to help solve many of the problems that we have created and by instilling in them the ability to think outside of the box, they will have a better chance of facilitating real change for the better.

Yesterday afternoon provided another wonderful afternoon slice of creativity with the Prep Department Music Showcase in the Silcox Theatre; it was a lovely way to spend an otherwise dreary and rainy day in the company of young students either beginning their musical journey with their first ever public performance or developing towards mastery as they grow in confidence and ability. It takes real bravery to perform in front of an audience and whether they were beginners or more advanced musicians, they also showed courage, tenacity and huge potential. I hope that they will all continue with their chosen instruments as we look to grow and nourish all elements of the performing and creative arts.

As work continues apace around the school to improve the facilities and look of the campus, it was wonderful to see the fountain in Cloisters working once again. It has been cleaned, restored, and now provides the beautiful sound of running water to accompany us as we move around the Senior Department. The work on Clough is nearing completion and the Senior library has been finished ready for a formal reopening when we will have a very special writer coming onsite to perform the honours. It is exciting to see the Sports Hall changing room project rising from the ground rather swiftly and the grounds team doing a magnificent job working on the grass tennis courts in preparation for the summer term. It is a special campus and in a beautiful part of the world, and I hope that you are all taking as much pleasure as I am from seeing it visibly change every week.

Mobile phones have solved many problems but have also created as many again with the proliferation of social media apps that can have a detrimental impact on student development. When used correctly they are a powerful learning tool; unfortunately though, it is too often the case that mobile phone usage can have a negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing. We are in the process of reviewing our mobile phone policy and would welcome your input before we make any changes. With that in mind, we would be most grateful if you could fill in the short survey below.

I am away from school for the majority of next week as I will be attending the Society of Heads Annual Conference in Lincolnshire and then on to recruitment fairs across the country as we look to continue to grow student numbers for the next academic year. Ms Hardcastle will be in charge next week if you need to contact anyone at the most senior level.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Oakman