I feel I should apologise for not updating my blog for over a month but it is an indication of how busy my life has been for all sorts of contrasting reasons. What a term this has been, never a dull moment, always something to celebrate and such a lot to reflect on with considerable pride and gratitude.
All Heads know that the Spring term is the most demanding of the academic year. Whilst it is the shortest of the three terms so much is packed in: pre-testing by the senior schools, 13+ scholarships, regional and national tournaments, junior school play production, staff resignations, staff appointments, prospective parents by the score and on top of all this lots of planning meetings for the next academic year.
Added to all the above I have been on a recent visit to Bermuda to meet with our current and prospective parents.
Sandwiched between this have been two significant landmarks.
My birthday has never been a secret throughout my life and indeed my teaching career. As a leap year baby I have always played along to only having a birthday every four years. February 29th this year was always going to be a major occasion as I faced up to being 15 years old! My wife Rachel even had it announced on BBC Radio 2 that I was the youngest headmaster in the world!
Oh my goodness what an incredible birthday I had. I remain overwhelmed by the celebrations that were bestowed upon me by the school and I was so touched by the number of cards and email messages I received from so many present and past pupils, alumni and friends all over the world.
The warmth and thought that went into everything that happened on Monday 29th February was flattering to say the least. It was an assembly that will live with me forever and I expect all the children and staff will never forget it either! It has been quite hard to come back down to earth.
As if I needed anything more to celebrate, our home team winning the Windlesham Rugby Sevens Tournament, for the second consecutive year was very special. It happened to be the 50th Anniversary of the tournament just to add more icing to the cake. Sadly, our magnificent games pitches took a battering but I was assured by our very skilled groundsmen that they would recover and that is exactly what has happened.
We celebrate the end of this term with a momentous occasion in the history of Windlesham. After years and years of wishful thinking we break ground for the construction of a new six lane, 25 metre indoor swimming pool together with a 4 badminton court sports hall. This very exciting project will be completed by September 2017. It will transform the lives of future generations of Windlesham pupils and is a legacy I personally will be very proud about because it celebrates every sphere of what this school offers to children. The new sports hall will mean our current theatre will be renovated and become designated only to the performing arts – no longer will it be a dual purpose building.
The existing pool area together with much of our changing room areas will be exciting new projects. The wish list already reads well, new music rooms, common rooms, who knows given the incredible rate of change in today’s teaching styles and methods. All I do know is Windlesham will be ahead of the Prep School world.
Too much can be made of scholarship success but I have to say we are ending this term on the brink of exceeding our record of scholarships which is quite wonderful and a good point at which I will sign off until the start of next erm.
Happy Easter everyone.