Headteacher’s News – 2017 10 20

Music at The Windsor Boys’ School and across the Windsor Learning Partnership as a whole is excellent and is bucking the national trend of music at schools being in decline.  At last night’s Upper Schools’ Concert we were all treated to a wonderful and varied display of musical talent.  There were students of all ages, groups of different sizes, soloists on different instruments, with music and song from different countries and times.  It would be totally unfair to single out any particular act, but there were over 25 different items, with nearly 150 students performing in some way.  The professional quality of the Big Band and individual soloists was offset by the freshness of the WGS year 9 choir and TWBS lower school orchestra. Two features struck me as big developments in this concert: the role the student leaders played in rehearsing, coaching and conducting different groups, and the confidence of all of the performers, regardless of age or ability.  Both really noticeable.  This concert showed how music has deepened and widened in recent years.  On Monday the school hosted another incredible event, the Windsor Learning Partnership Choir, which saw groups from several schools in Windsor perform in front of family and friends.  It was a joyous and celebratory evening. But of course, all of this musical exuberance and excellence wouldn’t happen without some magical ingredients: firstly the enthusiasm and persistence of the students.  If you have one at home, please continue to praise them and encourage them as you obviously do.  Secondly, the support of the parents and community for music, without which the students wouldn’t feel encouraged and the events wouldn’t be so delightful. Thirdly, the staff who give up so much time and provide so much guidance, at all levels.  And of course, all of these ingredients come together under the inspiration and passion and commitment of James Manwaring, our Director of Music, whose belief in the positive relationship of young people and music is unshakeable.  So, to everyone involved in music across the partnership, and to Mr Manwaring, may I say a simple but huge thank you.

Please enjoy reading about all the other co-curricular successes across the school in so many dimensions.  This half term has been quite spectacular for student engagement in our programme of activities, especially amongst the year 9 students, and already there have been many successes.  We thoroughly believe in the link between co-curricular engagement and academic curricular success, and for many of the outstanding boys in the summer exam results, this was definitely the case.  I would encourage everyone to keep going with the extra activities throughout the next months, when it gets darker and wetter and harder to motivate oneself to take part.  But it is worth it if they can persevere.

Please remember after half term that we expect all boys in correct uniform and may send students home again if they are missing items.   This week has seen an improvement, but it is easy to slip back into sloppier ways.

Also please remember that when the daylight hours change everyone needs to be especially careful cycling to school:

  • Use decent lights
  • Wear light and reflective clothing
  • Wear a quality cycle helmet
  • Follow the rules of the road at all times.

Please find the time to check that your son understands this and is aware of the potential dangers.  After half term our sixth formers will attend a hard-hitting, but life-saving presentation on avoiding accidents, injury and death due to young and inexperienced drivers.

It has been a very full but very successful half term, but I know the staff and students both need their half term break. Its well-earned.

Gavin Henderson