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April 19, 2024

A Little Respect
In assembly on Monday, I explored the idea of respect, one of our five values, with the Senior Department students. I talked through with them what it actually means as like many words, this can become rather distorted. Respect is the intention, unprejudiced consideration and regard for the rights, values, beliefs, and property of all people. It is a virtue, a good quality that makes us value and revere something. As such, it resonates with the school that we want to be where our students take seriously what other people say and do, where they try to understand people who are different and learn from their qualities, where they try and always treat people with politeness and courtesy as well as recognising one another as fellow human beings with equal rights. It is though the case that showing respect does not mean that we always have to agree with the other person, but we should be prepared to listen and share our view without rudeness or impatience. In the world of social media where views have become increasingly polarised and fuelled by anger, it is important for our students to recognise and appreciate the value of disagreeing agreeably and understanding that there is rarely one answer to any single problem. In a community where mutual respect is tangible, everyone can flourish and achieve their very best; that is our fundamental aim.

We are continuing to work on the changes to the shape of the day, shape of the week, and the curriculum offering from September 2024 onwards. It is an exciting project and I believe that what we will be putting in place will transform the provision for all students and enhance their opportunities to participate in a broader range of academic and co-curricular areas that will fully prepare them for life beyond the school gates. With this in mind, I will be presenting to parents on this on Tuesday 4th June at 6 p.m. I hope that you will be able to take up this opportunity to hear about the positive changes and enhancements that we will be making.
It was a real delight earlier this week to host breakfast in my office with a wonderful group of Year 11 students. Throughout this term, I will be continuing to do this to ensure that I can hear the full student voice and their thoughts on what we can do to ensure that they have the best possible experience. The first group have set the bar high with an array of interesting thoughts and ideas to consider, many of which we had already built into the proposed curriculum changes for September.

You will have also received my letter today relating to fees for the upcoming academic year; at a time of inflation and increased cost of living, we have done everything that we can to limit the increase.

Soon, you will be receiving an invite to the Pre-Parents’ Day Golf and Fish & Chips supper evening at Southwold Golf Club on Friday 5th July. I do hope that many of you will be able to attend part or all of the evening. We are also looking forward to seeing all of you at Parents’ Day itself on Saturday 6th July where we can all celebrate the achievements of the students during the course of this academic year mixed amongst some highlight artistic performances to entertain.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Oakman