What a tremendous start to the term this week has been. I could not have asked for better.
It was an absolute joy to greet staff and then students with the news of great exam results at both KS4 and KS5, and stories of students securing their chosen university place or securing a fantastic apprenticeship at a top national company. We will put the full exam results on the school website very soon, but, in a nutshell, our A levels went up by several percent, especially at the top grades, and our GCSE results are the second best we have ever had. The value added scores for both key stages show the real merits of our work, and we will have those scores fairly soon. Well done to all those students who have achieved so well.
It was also wonderful to hear about so many other successes over the summer. In rowing particularly, Tom Smith and Bryn Ellery, amazed everyone and set another record for boys at the school by winning silver medals at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Lithuania. As if winning Henley for the school in record time wasn’t enough they secured selection for GB and competed all the way to win a very well-deserved world silver medal. In the first assembly of term we honoured the successful boys and used them as perfect example of how ambition, hard work, teamwork and resilience pay off in the end in both sport and in academic endeavour. The boys gave these athletes and their coach, Mark Wilkinson, a standing ovation.
The rugby season is now well underway with a record number of year 9s starting to play for the school, and with the senior boys training in the holidays to prepare for a tournament. Please read the match reports for the first fixtures, which are very pleasing and a good start to the season. Tomorrow (Saturday) the teams play against Shiplake College, which promises to have some quality encounters. KO at 10am.
We welcomed the students from Windsor Girls’ School this week and they shared an extended assembly with the boys all about study skills and managing their work. And of course, we welcomed all the new year 9 boys who have had the most amazing few days, looking so well turned out, so ready to go and so positive in so many ways: their work, their engagement in extra-curricular and their friendly approach with each other. They promise to be possibly one of the best year groups we have had. And we also welcomed many many parents at the riverbank this afternoon at the Boat Club swim and capsize test. It was a record turnout of boys and parents, and it was so good to meet and chat with so many supportive people, who I know will help out in so many ways in the life of the school.
The newsletter this week is full of information about events, fixtures, dates, meetings and opportunities. Please take the time to read the useful information. This half term looks to be really busy and rewarding – we start as we mean to go on, as always. Have a good weekend.