Headteacher’s News – 2017 06 30

Speech Day this week provided us with the chance to celebrate the achievements of so many of our students in both academic and co-curricular fields.   Our guest of honour, Ash Bhardwaj, an old boy gave a terrific speech about what motivated him to be a travel writer, documentary maker and take on so many other projects.  His inspirational words about not saying no to opportunity and about turning up and doing your best resonated with everyone, young and old alike.  As well as many many students receiving awards for subjects, for effort, for taking part and for giving their time, there were speeches outlining the bright future of the school, the view of the school form the students perspective and a summary of the year from the Head Boy. We were privileged to hear the big band, the school orchestra and the school choir performed so beautifully and emotionally.  Whilst it was a long evening, we were all so pleased that so many friends and sponsors and parents came to support the school and all the young people in it. Thank you to all the staff who made the evening go so well, particularly Mr Sawyer and Mrs Blockley.

Henley is underway and the senior quad have two scalps under their belts and are moving to the semi-finals tomorrow against Leander. Although tomorrow’s race will be against a quality crew, the boys’ form in the last two races has been very composed and they have been in charge of the race.  The level of preparation that the boys do under the guidance of Mark Wilkinson is beyond belief, and it is impossible to do any more – no detail has been omitted.  The support on both days has been phenomenal and inspiring and I suspect it will grow over the next two days.  Please watch the live feed on YouTube if you are unable to go down to Henley, and catch up on the last two races here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHGIFRLX8Xg & here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRdSpNs7qHU

However, I want to make special mention of our second crew the senior eight which qualified for Henley this year and rowed on Wednesday against a bigger and older Pangbourne crew.  I am so proud of this young and feisty crew who defied the odds by qualifying and also showed their training and their pedigree by keeping their opponents within range all the way down, never giving up.  These boys are ones to watch for the future. On every level they were stunning. If you don’t believe me listen to the commentary on this YouTube clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeuDwxzDX_Q  Well done boys and coaches. Outstanding.

As always there are lots and lots of things going on and lots to look forward to.  Please read about the tennis fixture against Eton and the borough athletics, where our students in Year 9 and 10 came top. Well done to all the competitors. Next week we have our year 9 trip to Wales, and year 12 work experience, as well as several other trips.  No winding down towards the end of term at TWBS!  And next week we welcome our new Year 9 students who are going to do two days of induction, and we meet the new parents on Monday evening.  It is something I am looking forward to, having already met the boys from our four main feeder schools – they all seem very happy about coming to our wonderful school and they are keen to get started.

Gavin Henderson