Dear Parent and OWs
Many thanks for the messages of support to the School during our need to close RGS early last Thursday and fully on Friday.
March 1st has a particular significance for children in Year 6 and their parents as it is ‘National Offer Day’. We have just sent out our 192 packs to local boys who have qualified for a grammar school and have secured a place at RGS. We will look forward to welcoming brothers of boys already here, no doubt some sons of OWs and a large number of new families to the school. We will have a very long waiting list again, this year. We have also seen an increase in applications for Year 7 boarding places, for which there is no catchment area; boarding has a unique capacity to shape the lives of young people and it very pleasing that we have maintained a very strong boarding tradition at RGS.
I’m very pleased that the Council has given approval for traffic calming measures to be installed in Hamilton Road, which will make the crossing backwards and forwards to car parks, rugby and hockey pitches that much safer. I will give an update about timescales etc. when I have further news.
This week is a busy one. Around 90 of our Lower Sixth boys have been joining their counterparts at Wycombe Abbey School for a Management Conference. This was a special year in that it is a celebration of 25 years of collaboration between the two schools. A state/independent school liaison would probably have raised an eyebrow or two in those days (in both sectors) so it was particularly innovative at the time and has continued thanks to the commitment of staff in both schools to develop their students’ skills for the adult world.
The Sportsman’s Dinner takes place tonight. We are all looking forward to the evening. It will be compered, as ever, by Barry Williams (he takes NO prisoners!), who will be introducing our guest speaker, Gareth Edwards. The evening will be raising money for rugby at RGS, in particular the Senior Tour to Chile and Argentina in the summer.
A Junior Rugby Tour takes place at the weekend – the U14s will be staying in Sussex with two games v Seaford College and Worthing RFC sandwiching a day in Brighton with volleyball and mini golf tournaments (plus seaside recreation time!). Good luck to our U14s in their first RGS tour.
Many thanks for the generous donations to Macmillan Cancer Support, in memory of Alan Yeates. I will let you have a final total later, but your generosity has currently raised over £2,000. I will be writing to you soon requesting your support for a more permanent memorial to his memory.
On Saturday, 27 of our lads will be heading to Toulouse for our Work Experience exchange visit. Another long standing RGS tradition, this is an excellent opportunity for our students and those of Lycée Victor Hugo to gain an insight into working life in our respective countries as well as honing their skills in native languages.
As I have said on a number of occasions, I have been very pleased with my choice of career which has been ‘crowned’ (apologies!) with the superb opportunity that is leading RGS. It is a great pity that so many organisations, many of whom should be supporting the profession, pump out only the bad news about teaching. Not surprising, therefore, that recruitment of teachers is a challenge. There is a slight bucking of the trend in this area thanks, in part, to the excellent work of the Astra Alliance – a teaching school, in which we are a partner. We have just signed up six graduate trainees for next year, who will undertake their training with us at RGS, as well as spending a shorter placement in a non-selective school for breadth of experience. The Astra Alliance still has some vacancies and I would always recommend teaching for someone with other ‘life experience’ (OWs and parents) to consider if a change of career is on the cards. Please see http://www.astra-alliance.com/ for more details. The Deputy Headmaster, Alex Wallace, oversees this at RGS, so you could, if you prefer have an informal chat with him.
Please do come and support our production of ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller which is being performed on Thursday 22 – Saturday 24 March. It features actors and actresses from RGS and Wycombe High School. Further details are available.
May I draw the attention of Lower Sixth parents to the letters regarding the International University Fair at Wycombe Abbey and the extra places available at the Oxford and Cambridge Student Conference.
As you will be aware, we have tightened up considerably on attendance and the processes to manage it. The Sport and PE Department have set out very clear rules regarding attendance and participation in PE and Games. Please read the letter.
Please read an excellent account below from Adam Hart about the recent Mathematics trip to Japan: ‘‘Our urban adventure to Japan has been an exhilarating experience for each and every one of us, including the teachers! We travelled throughout Japan, trying to create new memories in various forms, from trying Japanese delicacies, to their curious beverages from the many vending machines scattered across the city. We voyaged across Tokyo from the peaceful haven of Hamarikyu Gardens, to the breath-taking chaos of the Shibuya Crossing. We had packed so many amazing opportunities into this trip and we truly got to know Tokyo and its inhabitants. We learnt so much about the world around us, and it wasn’t just maths! We discovered the tranquillity of the ancient shrines at the various temples and the true beauty of nature and its awe-inspiring creations. We learnt of the business of the urbanised cities including the ridiculously long queues at the sky tree tower, to the speedy bullet train to and from the ancient shrine at Nikko. Just in case we were ever unoccupied, there were a variety of challenges set by our staff, such as: origami competitions, maths puzzles & riddles, and ancient Japanese kuakahki puzzles. Overall, we had a magnificent time and I would definitely recommend it.’’
During half term three Y12 students completed an engineering placement with Martin Baker, a company which builds ejection and crashworthy seats for aeroplanes. Vihaan Konganda and Tom Chamberlain have written about their fascinating experience.
Laurie Gawne has earned a place on the Bucks County team for the English Schools Cross Country Championships in Leeds on 17th March. Tremendous achievement, well-deserved! During Half Term Ishaan Bharal competed in the WAKO British Open 2018. This is a kickboxing tournament involving competitors from across Europe. Ishaan represented GB in the Under 57kg category. Ishaan was unfortunate to face the eventual champion, from Hungary, in the first round of competition.
Sammy Cormack-Repath (Year 8) is playing Icarus in the semi-staged premiere of Will Todd’s ‘If I Had Wings’ at the Royal Albert Hall this coming Sunday.
Please do always let the School know if your son is excelling at something outside school. I am always pleased to share good news.