A Place 2 Be...

Dear OFS Community,

Monday was a very special day as we reflected on the life of Karen Brown, the warmest, dearest and most caring of teachers who sadly and suddenly passed away nearly two years ago.

I suspect that Pericles, a great Greek Statesman and General might well have written these words of Karen:

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others – Pericles

I asked for a show of hands from those who were taught by Karen, who remembers her wonderful assembly stories or those who heard a caring and kind comment from her – most hands were in the air – including staff!

Karen inspired us to put her words into action as we came together to support her chosen charity – Place 2 Be. How impactful that we have been able to raise a record figure that prior to lockdown was needed but 2 years later is frankly essential and lifechanging. We are so lucky to have access to a school counsellor to advise, guide and steer us.

We started with a simple aim of raising £5,000…

…but thanks to this incredible community, we finally handed over a cheque for £26,115.50 that will certainly have impact on the lives of children who do not have access to a school counsellor – thank you Orley Farm!

School Council

The School Council met for the first time with a very important brief as their first focus – maximising teacher feedback and personalised knowledge on individual progress. Miss Addinall was hugely impressed with the articulate and thoughtful points being shared and with the way that school leaders were leaning in and listening to younger pupils.

It’s the quality of the feedback rather than its existence or absence that determines its power.

I can’t wait to hear their thoughts that will be shared with the Senior Management Team before going to teachers as we look to create a far more effective dialogue on learning. All too often schools remain in the dinosaur age driven by pleasing school inspectors and parents rather than our learners – watch this space!

Frisbee Golf!

The Ryder cup might be over but Mr Donohoe took the 1st group out on our new frisbee golf course today for a quick 9 holes around the beautiful 'Meadow Hills' during lunch. #Wellbeing!

Capture that moment…

Edge continued today and the Year 8 Photography group were looking at capturing movement. This involved experimenting with shutter speeds on the DSLR cameras going down to 1/30th of a second – Pre-Prep and Middle School pupils were only too willing to help acting as models!

What an inspiring week – the thought that we have made a difference to the lives of others through the many fundraising events over the past 2 years helps me to make sense of the turbulence, uncertainty, fear and anxiety that we have all felt over that time – thank you to everyone for getting behind such a wonderful cause. Mrs Brown would have loved being a part of it…

Tim Calvey