Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 26 June 2020
As we hurtle towards the end of the academic year, I am spending a great deal of time reading through everyone’s reports. Even with the inevitable disruption caused by the Covid-19 situation, I am very impressed with the way in which NCS boys have kept a steady course and carried on with their learning, even if it is being done remotely in a large number of cases. As I mentioned at the start of Trinity, one irony of our situation is that the boys are actually accessing more curriculum content than they normally would at this point in the year. With fewer distractions on the cricket field, no trips, no sports day – and the like – we have more time to devote to the curriculum. While this might provide some irritation in the short term – for teachers as well as pupils alike, I confess – put in perspective, it means that by Michaelmas we will be in a better place, academically, than we might normally be.
Though it is something of a Herculean task, it is also a pleasure and privilege to read through every single report written by colleagues. It is great to see what the boys have achieved over the course of the year, and it is a totally healthy part of the educational process to have further areas for progression gently suggested. It is an intrinsic part of the pedagogical process that we maintain a dialogue between all of the parties involved – most especially the boys themselves – so we can discuss targets, review them, and see where they might progress even further in the coming months. Even the brightest pupils I have taught – and I have taught a lot of very bright people at NCS – have something on which they can work.
But that something need not always be an academic goal. One of the strengths and joys of NCS is that we provide a values-based education, alongside an ambitious academic one. The boys are encouraged to think about their values as well as their goals. Yes, they may have the goal of moving their ‘8’ in English to a ‘9’ or ‘10’, or their goal might be to make it into the first team in tiddlywinks. That is all well and good – but it is not enough. By identifying and developing the boys’ values we are setting them up for lives beyond the selfish acquisition of personal success. I am not naïve enough to think that our boys don’t need to be equipped for successful careers, much of which will be based on what their brains can do. But that is not enough to live a happy and fulfilled life. They will be defined by their values as much – perhaps even more – than their CVs. They will be judged, and they will judge themselves, on how they treat others, what they do for their community, what positives they bring to the world beyond their GCSE or A-Level results. And if those positive values sit comfortably alongside academic success, I would venture to say that our pupils are more likely to be happy later in life. As someone who spends a lot of time looking at other people’s CVs, then meeting them in interview, I admit that the sparkling CV can sometimes be put to one side if I have queries about the person’s values – if they are prioritising their own personal success above doing what they can for others. In a week or so, then, the boys’ reports will be winging their way home; keep an eye out for what the boys are as well as what they have done.
Have a great weekend and an enjoyable last week of term.
Congratulations to the following boys for their achievements this week:
Thomas B For an extremely informative fact sheet
Eugene For an expertly created montage of nature photos
Eugene For writing a super poem about what he misses about school
Laurence K For creating an excellent comic strip about Mary Anning
Laurence K For writing a super poem about what he misses about school
Michael For writing a lovely poem about what he misses at school,
Michael For excellent comic strip about Mary Anning
Michael For creating an excellent 'Alice in Wonderland' potion recipe
Tanish Gold Certificate
Toby Gold Certificate
Alexander Gold Certificate
Alexander Platinum Certificate
Laurence P-A Headmaster's Commendation
Nathanael Headmaster's Commendation
James For a stunning mandala inspired by cutlery
George C For superb imaginative responses to writing a diary from the point of view of a bug
George C For a lovely response to a 'View From My Window' art task
Roshan For a lovely response to a 'View From My Window' art task
Thomas For superb imaginative responses to writing a diary from the point of view of a bug
Peter For a lovely response to a 'View From My Window' art task
Eddie For a stunning mandala inspired by cutlery
George W For superb imaginative responses to writing a diary from the point of view of a bug
Jacob For a lovely response to a 'View From My Window' art task
Emil For a lovely response to a 'View From My Window' art task
Dan For working consistently on his Viola and for some lovely duets with his sister!
Luca For his research on coral reef conservation
Isaac For outstanding work on some very challenging scholarship questions
Isaac Platinum Certificate
Sebastian For his independent work on sunflowers in science
Barnaby For an essay on Homer's Odyssey so brilliant there is not a superlative strong enough to describe it