This week and last week have been a fabulous week in so many ways as is usually the case at TWBS.
Firstly, and most importantly for the boys in years 11 and 13, the GCSEs and A Levels have reached their conclusion with the last examination on Monday. The boys themselves have been such a credit to their parents and carers, their teachers and support staff, and to all who have seen them to the full conclusion of their journey through school in terms of their conduct in and attitude to their exams. I really hope that their efforts and application are rewarded in August and thank you all for your tremendous support at home.
With regards examinations, there is one person we all owe a huge debt of thanks to-namely Mrs Lewis, otherwise known as superwoman. The logistical exercise involved in ensuring that all the boys sit their exams successfully is a mind-boggling one for those of us who witness it and stand back in admiration. In addition to the GCSEs and A levels, she has also administered the year 10 and year 12 exams which finished this week. It’s a huge feat which takes months of preparation and we are indebted to her.
Last week, on Wednesday, we held our sixth form induction which aims to introduce those who are intending to stay in school to what awaits them in September. Barely having caught their breath from the onslaught of GCSEs, they should, rightly perhaps, have been de-mob happy and slightly glassy eyed, but to their enormous credit-and to the staff who taught them for the day, they were not. Enthusiastic and excited by what comes next, they threw themselves into lessons and some even turned up last Thursday too to listen to Miss O’Connell our ‘More Able’ coordinator, along with Mr Rawling, our most treasured ex-deputy headteacher who works tirelessly to educate students nationally about further education, to learn about what to do in preparation to gain a place at an Oxbridge university, or one of the most competitive Russell group universities.
On Wednesday evening this week, we hosted our annual speech day, and were delighted to welcome Professor Bruce Morland who attended the school as a pupil between 1971 and 1978. Now a very well respected child cancer specialist, he looked visibly delighted to be back in the school and was genuinely humbled to be asked to be our guest of honour, he said. Entertaining us with tales of his own school days, it became clear that TWBS was quite a different place back then, but equally obvious that the ‘Uno Animo’ spirit which was as present then as it is now, had had a lasting, positive effect on him. He spoke to the boys about being the very best that you can be, no matter what that means, and always giving 100%. He said that he was not what anyone would have called ‘high flyer’ at school and yet, through dedication, hard-work and tenacity, he was able to realise his ambition to be a doctor and has since spent 35 years working in the NHS, seeing child cancer survival rates rise in a way he never thought possible. In addition to Professor Morland’s speech, our guests from far and wide were treated to a snapshot of the school’s forthcoming production of ‘Lord of the Flies,’ music from the school’s ‘Big Band,’ and a large number of citations about the brilliant students in attendance who were all deserving of the recognition they received for their efforts during the school year.
As I write this, our sports day is about to commence with students competing across many disciplines. It will certainly be a hot one, both literally and metaphorically, as students compete for house points in sports as well as chess and art. We thank Mr Gregory for all his organisation, here.
Turning our attention to the forthcoming week, it’s difficult to fit everything in! We have the new year 9 parents’ evening on Monday where we look forward to welcoming our new student and parent body. New year 9 pupils will then do two ‘transition’ days on Thursday and Friday with a mixture of CATs tests and more fun activities! We look forward to welcoming them to the school formally.
About a hundred current year 9 pupils are out in Wales camping all next week so let’s hope the sunshine continues, and year 12 biology students are in Swanage on the coast doing fieldwork. The rest of year 12 are on work-experience week and of course, there’s the small matter of a rather important rowing regatta in a little known town on the Thames. Henley, here we come! I do hope they are prepared for the might of The Windsor Boys’ School rowing club as we all hold our breath and see how well they can do. We wish them all the very best and will be right behind them all the way.
And so, just another quiet couple of weeks in the life of our school. It’s staggering to think about what we achieve with diminishing funds from central government - but achieve it we do. Of course, without our brilliant staff, fabulous parent and community support, and the willingness of the boys to give their all, none of this would be possible. So, let’s just be thankful for it and enjoy it - it’s such a pleasure to be a part of.
I wish you all a brilliantly sunny weekend,