It is hard to believe that we have already reached half-term and are thus halfway through the school year. It’s the pace of school life that makes the weeks fly by, and the last few have been no exception. For those pupils taking public examinations next term (Year 11 & the Upper Sixth), the focus has been on their mock exams, the results, feedback, discussions at parents’ evenings and action plans. In a sense, their mock exam results are irrelevant: what matters is that each pupil continues to take responsibility for his or her learning, is proactive in seeking the support, guidance and help of the teachers and, most importantly, is quite clear on what steps are needed in order to improve in the remaining few months.
Last week, we enjoyed a quite superb concert from the music scholars. We also had a fascinating TA Lecture by the historian, author and broadcaster, Richard van Emden, entitled ‘Meeting the Enemy: The Human Face of the Great War’. As well as parents, staff and pupils, it was a great pleasure to welcome to the audience a good number of former pupils, as well as members of the public. The School plays an important role in the life of the town of Warminster (not least because we’ve been here for 310 years) and it is important to continue to develop the links between ‘town and gown’. The next TA lecture is by the author Harry Parker on 6 March. The annual extravaganza that is Cabaret takes place this year on 17 & 18 March and we are changing the format slightly, in order to accommodate a bigger audience. Please book early; details may be found below in the latest edition of ‘In-tune’.
During half-term (and until 4 March), our Lower Sixth Art pupils are taking part in a Salisbury Schools’ Art exhibition, A Library of Ideas, at the Young Gallery in Salisbury. Please do drop in if you are in Salisbury.
The Warminster School Parents’ Association (WSPA) is, as many of you know, thriving. The events it arranges are great fun and well-attended. The next one is the Quiz & Curry Night at the School on 24 February. More details are below, as is the WSPA Spring newsletter.
In the newsletter you will read that Robin Stone, the Chairman of the WSPA, is stepping down in the summer after four years in the post. He has done a superb job and I am very grateful for all his efforts in support of the pupils and parents. However, his resignation leaves a vacancy as Chair. Please may I reiterate Robin’s comment that if you would be interested in taking on this important role, you contact him to express an interest or to ask any questions you might have. Equally, you are welcome to contact me if you have any questions about it.
Onto staff news. Mr Crinion had a successful operation on his back earlier this week, a procedure that requires several weeks of recuperation. As a result, some of the geographers in Years 7-11 will have their lessons after half-term taught by a temporary geography teacher, James Smith. All sixth form classes will be taught by Mr Phillips. Mr Smith is an experienced geography teacher, currently taking a break to complete his PhD. Mrs Walker, Head of History, departs on maternity leave at half-term and Mr McQueen will take on the role of Acting Head of Department in her absence. Mrs Hopkins will take over the teaching of her Year 7 & 8 classes. Mrs Golding is also departing on maternity leave; however, she will not return as she has accepted a job at Kingdown School from January 2018. In her six years at Warminster, she has made a significant contribution to the school community, not least the quality of her teaching and tutoring, as well as her outreach work, and she will be missed.
Having stepped down at the end of last term as the Housemaster of Old Vic, Chris Knight, the Director of Sport, has now decided, after careful consideration, that now is the right time to leave Warminster School, a move that will fit in with his personal plans. Given his length of distinguished service and loyalty to the School, I have agreed to his request to leave the School at this stage of the academic year. Chris arrived at Warminster as Director of Sport in September 2006 and has made a significant contribution to the life of the school community, not only in that particular role, but also as a housemaster for eight years and Head of Academic PE. I want to publically record the School’s gratitude and appreciation of what he has done.
May I wish you all an enjoyable half-term.