Polarised reporting, stunning performances and Xmas crafts
Last week, I joined the Heads of Girls’ Schools throughout the UK at the Girls’ Schools Association Conference in Manchester to hear from a range of inspiring speakers, and to share knowledge and ideas about the very best practice in educating our students. You may have read some of the press coverage about one of the speakers, Natasha Devon, and her comments that schools should seek to use gender neutral language with students. Predictably, this was the one tiny element of her very interesting and thought-provoking address about children’s mental health that was reported and sensationalised. You can read Natasha’s response on the Tes website.
I was therefore really pleased to see a response to the excessively polarised reporting from our own Chief Executive, Cheryl Giovannoni in this weekend’s Telegraph. Quite rightly, she argues that there are far more weighty matters surrounding girls’ education that are worthy of discussion and which our girls are addressing and discussing through societies and discussion groups like our own Feminist Society, Mighty Girls, Amnesty group and Politics or Science Society; these include the gender pay gap; shortages of women in key professions and the political engagement of young women. It is a shame that the press coverage doesn’t reflect the very mature and insightful approach that our students themselves are taking. The girls continue to make me very proud of them in this respect and also optimistic about the future of politics and journalism in their hands.
Other reasons to be proud this week include our wonderful Junior School Choirs and our U14 Hockey players. Both Chamber Choir and Key Stage Two Choir gave wonderful performances at the Beckenham Music Festival this weekend, ably supported by Mrs Coles and Ms Beenders. Not only was their singing stunning, worthy of a 2nd and Joint-1st place, but the girls were also such brilliant ambassadors for the school. Our Hockey players also enjoyed an inspiring weekend of Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) Hockey at the High School in Bath. The highlight of the weekend was definitely meeting Kate Walsh, gold medal winning ex-England captain, but also the opportunity to play some high quality Hockey against our 25 sister schools in a beautiful setting.
Tomorrow sees our annual BHSA Christmas Crafts Fair at the Junior School, masterfully organised by our fabulous team of parents. Do come along and hear our wonderful choir and get some early Christmas shopping in. The BHSA do a brilliant job of creating a festive atmosphere and community feel, alongside raising some much valued funds for the girls education and we are hugely appreciative.