A co-educational independent through school

7th July 2017

It is Activity Week, so at times it is extremely quiet at school, then suddenly there is a burst of noise and excitement as our at home pupils either emerge from a classroom or return from a trip. They have enjoyed among other things seaside fun, banana boating, high ropes, Indian dancing, pizza (and pizza box) making, a trip to London—and the lovely weather that has kept us all smiling. Some of the pupils are further afield on residentials in the UK and abroad. I hope they are all having a fantastic time. It is great to receive photos and updates; hearing, for example, that our footballers in Portugal have beaten Benfica Under 13s!

I look forward to everyone returning on Monday with news of their adventures. We will be getting ready for Speech Day on Tuesday, when we will review and celebrate all that our pupils have achieved this year. I do hope that many of you will be able to join us for this special occasion. The Newsletter will be back in September, but in the meantime we will be posting news of the Kenya Expedition and other items of interest on Facebook over the holidays. Thank you for your support this year, and I wish you all a pleasant and refreshing summer break.

30th June 2017

What a difference a week makes! I suppose it was inevitable that the sweltering weather would be short lived. We did not let the grey skies and chilly breeze deter us on Sports Day, though. From three- way volleyball and egg and spoon to sprints and relay races, pupils of all ages took part with energy and enthusiasm. There was the usual combination of fun and fierce competition between the Houses, with considerable athletic prowess on show. The PTA kept everyone warm and happy with hot drinks and delicious cakes, and the spectators seemed to have a great time, especially those who had thought to bring fleeces and umbrellas! It was only as the final results were being read out that the skies opened, so we were very lucky.

Another recent outdoor event was also a great success: the Summer Soirée last Friday. The informal, festival-style concert showed off the talents of Senior School pupils as musicians and composers, and the audience were in good voice, too. The Prep School had their turn on Thursday this week, when they delighted us with their singing and dancing in their Grand Finale show.

Next week, all pupils have the excitement of Activity Week to look forward to, with some staying close to home and others venturing off for residentials in the UK and Europe. Let’s hope they all have fantastic memories to share with us at the end of their adventures.

23rd June 2017

It was a great pleasure attending the ISA National Athletics Competition at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on Monday, where I had the honour of handing out some of the medals in my capacity as Acting Chair of the Association. What a contrast from last year when it was teeming with rain! I take my hat off to all the young athletes who performed to such a high standard in the sweltering heat. Of course, I am particularly proud of the Gosfield pupils who took part and acquitted themselves so well. It is a tremendous achievement to reach the finals, when one considers that ISA now has 430 schools in membership. I hope they all enjoyed the experience as much as I did.

Later in the week, I was away inspecting another independent school. This is something I do a couple of times a year, both to support the schools in question but also to help me and my colleagues at Gosfield keep completely up to date with the current regulatory requirements as well as educational developments and initiatives. It is always good to get back to Gosfield, though, to see all the learning and activities going on and to appreciate yet again the fabulous grounds, facilities and community here.

16th June 2017

On Monday, we paid tribute to our Year 11 and 13 pupils who are coming to the end of their GCSE years at Gosfield. In an assembly, their tutors reminded us of the unique attributes of each pupil and how much they have contributed to the school community. Afterwards, they enjoyed a barbeque and bouncy castle in the walled garden and the traditional shirt signing. We are delighted that some of our Year 11 pupils will be returning to us for Sixth Form, and we wish all of them every success and happiness in the future.

While we have been saying farewell to our leavers, we welcomed plenty of newcomers on New Pupil Day. On Friday, pupils who are joining us in September spent the day with us, getting to know one another, current pupils and teachers. Parents were greeted by the PTA and had the chance to meet staff. I trust that the day helped all of our new families feel very much a part of the growing Gosfield community.

9th June 2017

How sad it is that we have again this week had to pause and pay our respects to innocent people, the victims of the London attack. As a school community, we encourage tolerance, generosity of spirit and kindness, qualities that will help our young people make a positive difference in the world.

One of the ways that we will be making the future brighter is by helping to build a United World School in Cambodia. Along with forty other ISA schools, Gosfield has pledged to raise funds to set up the first school in the remote community of Pong Tek, which will have a transformational impact on the whole community. UWS have informed us that the pledges made so far have meant they can move forward with the construction: they have finished the school frame and the first of four classrooms. As the pictures below show, they have also purchased a set of desks and are running informal classes for the whole community.

We are delighted to be involved in this initiative and thank our pupils and families in advance for their support in the coming year to reach our pledge amount of £500.

I hope all of our pupils and families have a refreshing half term break. Let’s hope the lovely weather lasts and we can all get outside to enjoy it.

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