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Headmaster’s Blog – A visit to the study

April 29, 2013

Come into my parlour!

This past week I have been doing what Headmaster’s enjoy best – engaging with pupils (in the Year 8 interviews). I am not sure that all the pupils would say it’s what they enjoy most – hence coming into the ‘parlour’ – but I trust that they did not areidlowres34actually feel too much like the ‘fly’ and that I did not appear as a spider!

As Y8s reach the end of their time in the Prep School they prepare for the ‘flagship exams’. These are a little more challenging than other internal exams to date and help to provide a platform for their entry into Y9 and the senior school. As part of this whole process of ‘moving on and up’ they write a personal statement for me. In this they tell me a little about themselves, what they feel they have achieved to date and what their hopes and ambitions are for the future.  As well as learning more about what each pupil does at school, this is a fascinating insight into their busy lives, hobbies and commitments at home. I have learnt about pupils who compose songs, enjoy long boarding and assist in local charities. Several are busy with sports’ clubs and others are engaged in film making, pet care and outdoor pursuits of all kinds. A number are active members of uniformed organisations whilst quite a few clearly enjoy baking and cooking meals!

One aim of the interview is to help pupils think more about GCSE options (and to be encouraged to discuss these with relevant staff) whilst I also try to let them know more about what’s available in senior school (such as senior activities including Young Enterprise and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme). Our discussions in the interview also touch on the importance of work experience and how best to improve their personal statements. The next time these are written it will probably be for someone who doesn’t know them – an admissions’ tutor at college or sixth form, a university administrator or an employer.

So, it has been the Y8s this week for interview whilst next week it’s the turn of the Y10s who have applied to be senior prefects – another spider and fly occasion but in the best possible taste!

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