Week 20th – 22nd April21st March 2022
Week 25th – 29th April5th April 2022
My job, when you boil it down, is to put passionate experts in front of your children, and then to support them so they have all they need to do the job and retain their passion.
I think this was evidenced in the successful GCSE Options evening last night up at the Oberon pavilion. The room was a buzz with excited chatter. It was like entering a busy market on a Saturday morning – each subject leader enthusing about their wares and attracting large crowds to their stall. There was an air of anticipation, of possibility, as families learned what lay in store for them if they chose this subject or that. I was so enormously proud of our passionate experts – and my sincere thanks to the catering team too, for some delicious savouries and sweets.
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Today sees the end of another round of mock GCSE papers for our current Year 11s. They have worked so very hard these past couple of weeks, as they bravely took on their mock exams. They have shown commitment and diligence, self-discipline and fortitude. They have tackled every paper with calm resilience, acting as fine role models for their fellow students. For as long as we regard academic qualification as the principle form of measurement, we will help our students give themselves the very best chances possible to smash through the finishing line. But we will do so in ways that preserve their sense of wonder and their intellectual curiosity – and their SELF-WORTH! No student is defined by their grades – they are so much more than this – but every student deserves the chance to do themselves proud. And they did.
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‘What will our school timetable look like in 2122?’ This was the question I posed to the children in a recent philosophy lesson. Their answers were inspiring, offering subjects that will leave my distant successor with some head-scratching. There will be weekly lessons in telekinesis, teleportation, time travel and ‘flying’.
Whatever will be on the syllabus in the next millennium, I am certain we will have finally moved a little further from the Victorian model of focusing so much on academic intelligence whilst capping the incalculable potential of our race. Equipping the children for life, whilst preparing them for academic exams has always been a difficult balancing act, but in this aim I think Hall School is already light years ahead of our neighbours. Our academic ambitions are high and bold, but we get there through nurturing and caring for the whole student before us.
As I walk around the school daily, and engage in conversations with staff and pupils, I gain an impression that our definition of ‘school’ is broad and filled with possibility. We have a can-do attitude at Hall School and this must surely be a pre-requisite for the future.
But the thought of my great great grandchildren flapping their arms and flying is sensational.
Enjoy your weekend everyone. May I wish all our cherished mothers a very happy Mother’s Day. I hope you are spoilt rotten.
A J Hammond