It has been a tremendous year for TWBS. We started by celebrating some amazing exam results at GCSE and A level and we are in the top 30% of schools for GCSE progress and the top 25% for A level progress. And this has been consistent for many years. In October a team of senior teachers from other schools led by an Ofsted Inspector inspected the school and judged it as good for the second year running. We expect Ofsted to visit us next year and we all need to be ready for that moment. Our rugby teams had a tremendous season this year and the first XV particularly had moments of brilliance and showed that TWBS is still a major rugby school. In November and December we had a superbly lively performance of Singin’ in the Rain and then two Christmas Carol Concerts that were packed out.
In the spring term we all started gearing up for exams and revising and I am pleased to say I have never seen students so ready to take those exams and so in the zone on the day. This is all down to the clever hard work of the fine body of teachers we have and the ambition of the year 11s and 13s. Also in the Spring term we held our first independent careers fair which was a massive success, as were all the work experience placements, careers events and university preparation work that have taken place this year. In the late spring it became apparent that we had a U16 football team that were on fire, and sure enough, what they had only just started to dream of actually became a reality when they won the national schools FA cup final at the end of the season, being completely unbeaten throughout. And if one national title wasn’t enough our rowers rowed through the toughest of opposition to win two championship gold medals at the national schools regatta, placing our school as the top rowing school in the UK at this event, and then, of course, the senior quad went on to win Henley, after the most amazing of races, making history.
We have taken the building work in our stride, with no missed days, no hiccups and no major delays, and no grumbling about being inconvenienced. The new areas that have opened, the library, the sixth form centre, the staffroom and the admin areas, have lifted the school somewhat, and we are due to have the new sixth form canteen, front entrance and a refurbished maths block ready for September ….. all being well. And throughout the year our trips, clubs and visits kept running, with Duke of Edinburgh back up, trips to Iceland, New York, Berlin and Peru to name a few, visits by best-selling authors and year 9 Wordmania national champions. And, of course, clubs like the Physics society pulling in the most prestigious speakers month after month.
It has been a full and amazing year and next year looks set to be another cracker. I want to thank all the students who have thrown themselves into everything, but also thank the staff who have worked very very very hard indeed this year. At the end of term assembly today it took no encouragement at all for the students to give all the teachers in the school a big hearty round of applause for all their work both academically and with the extra-curriculum. However, we have to say goodbye to number of long-serving staff.
Mr Bausor is leaving the staff of the school after many many years at the school. He worked his way up from being a TA to becoming a teacher and eventually the SENCO of the school, a very important job. His work has been instrumental in the lives of so many students for whom school and learning is a bigger than average challenge, and I know many students past and present owe him so much. But on top of that Mr Bausor has been a pivotal coach in the boat club, a massive support at numerous school events and the epitome of a Windsor Boy.
Mr Clark is also leaving, he too is a former student who trained here and has spent most of his life attached to the school as boy and man. He is our Director of Sport and has been a major influence in helping sustain the range and depth of school sport at TWBS in a time when many schools are cutting it. His energy and his willingness to take part in anything provides us all with a role model of how to get the best out of life. He has maintained and indeed extended the profile of sport at TWBS against all the odds – that is a major achievement. He is becoming head of sport at a prestigious international school in Dubai and we wish him all the very best.
Sara Howells is retiring this year after many years teaching drama to students in Windsor. She has theatre running through her veins and has made a huge contribution to the development of drama not only in the school but across the whole town. She has found and promoted the talents in some of the most unlikely boys who have gone on to enjoy drama and make a career out it. She has written and produced her own plays, most notably the recent Uno Animo in Bellum, which was the story of our former students and their role in the first world war. Her experience and theatrical skills will be missed by us all.
I would like to end this final newsletter of the year with my sincerest thanks to you the parents. At all levels, as governors, fund raisers, supporters and ideas givers many of you have made contributions of expertise, time and money that have made a deep and long-lasting impression. At the simplest level, our school and all its students really benefit from people that are dedicated parents, who support the value of education and encourage ambition in their sons. I hope that this effective partnership continues into next year, as this will naturally benefit every students. Thank you all for supporting your school and I wish you a very positive summer holiday when it finally comes.