Head's blog - March 2023
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Welcome back! It has been simply lovely to see our girls return to school for a new academic year and to welcome new students and parents into the community. There is a feeling of great positivity as we embark on a new school year with the Year 11 and Year 13 girls having just received excellent GCSE and A Level results and the whole school - from Nursery to Sixth Form - being awarded ‘Excellent In All Areas’, the highest accolade possible, from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). Furthermore, it was a pleasure to work on our school priorities over the summer with the senior team, without discussing plans for on-site Covid testing or the semantics of ‘bubbles’; long may it continue!
Staff returned before students earlier this term to prepare for the year ahead and as part of our INSET days, our Keynote speaker James Nottingham reminded us of the importance of allowing students to focus on their journey and not always be fixated on the outcome. There is a great deal to be learned from finding some aspects of learning difficult and this is one of the reasons why challenge is so important. Our staff had a great opportunity to talk about the relationship between finding some things difficult and the links to anxiety and how to encourage students to find the right balance, and gaining or maintaining confidence. In general, research suggests that this is something which can adversely affect girls and one of the reasons why I am such a strong advocate for girls’ education. I recently highlighted this in an article for Independent Education.
We have had much to reflect on at the start of term, particularly the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In my assembly to students, I highlighted the strength of community at times of sadness and whilst not everyone would have been affected in the same way, we must ensure we provide a safe space and empathy for any discussions that might arise given the nature of national mourning. I was impressed with the girls’ response and have complete confidence in them.
Finally, it was so wonderful to see so many parents at our ‘Meet the Tutors’ evening earlier this week and I look forward to seeing you at many more events throughout the year, and in person! Please do ensure you check previous communication to see guidance on how to sync your mobile phone to our calendar to ensure you do not miss anything.
I wish you a restful weekend and look forward to seeing you soon.
Natalie Argile, Acting Head