Headteacher’s News – 2017 07 07

The amazing success at Henley last week shows us all just how important ambition, determination, persistence and resilience are to any enterprise.  We are immensely proud of the achievement of Tom Shewell, Isaac Workman, Tom Smith and Bryn Ellery in winning the Fawley Cup at Henley Royal Regatta this year.  They will have this crowning and defining moment forever on their list of achievements – the first complete TWBS crew to win at Henley, and the first boys for twenty years to lift that special trophy.  They have worked so very hard and so regularly for many months in the build up to this season and this event, but in fact they have been working towards this moment since the very first time they sat in a rowing boat.  You cannot imagine just how much winning Henley means to every boy in the boat club and how much of an ambition that has been for so many years.  The steady build-up of expectation and expertise through previous crews who have inexorably inched closer and closer to what the boys achieved last Sunday has been clear and consistent.  The unwavering support of parents and friends of the club has been hugely supportive.  The succession of talented coaches and staff volunteers helping the rowers begin to row, develop their skills, win their first race and reach national competitive standard has been tremendous.  The win on Sunday is not only a win for the four boys, it is win for everyone who has come before and been part of that persistent and against-the-odds drive to higher and even higher levels of success.  The boys deserve every congratulations for their success, but I genuinely think we should be congratulating everyone over the years who has built the boat club up to what it can achieve now. Well done all.

However one person is significantly the key to the success of the quad at Henley, and another person  paved the way in earlier years enormously. The significance that the last TWBS boy to lift the Fawley Cup in triumph at Henley was Mark Wilkinson, their coach, is not wasted on the boat club and all of its followers.  Mark has never made it a secret that his overarching ambition was to have an all-Windsor Boys’ School quad win the Fawley Cup at Henley. And, after many many patient and exhausting years he has managed to achieve that ambition.  And we all know that before him Chris Morrell was the biggest factor in the growth of the boat club and more than laid the foundations for this year’s highly successful season.  Chris started by lifting the club from ‘splashing about in the water’ to a very formidable competitive outfit that puts the collywobbles up rowers from the best private schools when they meet on the starting line whatever the age group.  These two coaches ambition, commitment and perseverance has brought the boat club to this magnificent moment, and everyone in the boat club past and present knows just how invaluable they have been and still are to junior rowing.  Gentlemen, thank you for all you have achieved.

This week has been very busy with a vast range of trips and activities taking place, particularly the year 9 outdoor pursuits trip to the Brecon Beacons, which by all accounts has gone really well with many great stories and adventures to relate. We have also had year 12 on work related learning activities and some year 10 students doing the same.  The highlight of the last two days has been the induction days for next year’s year 9 students.  They have had a range of activities from music to sport, from leadership development to treasure hunts. They have also sat some CATs tests and become familiar with their new surroundings.  I am pleased to report that they have all been very well behaved and enthusiastic throughout the whole two days.  They appear to be very keen and eager to start for real in September, which bodes well.  Thank you to all the staff who have organised everything this week and, as always, given above and beyond. Have a good and sunny weekend.

Gavin Henderson