Headmaster's Blog | Saturday 13 October 2018

03 November 2018

 

As half term looms into sight I would like to thank you and your sons for your support these last seven weeks. Furthermore, I am grateful to the staff who have collectively worked really hard to not only start the academic year positively but also embrace some tweaks to how we do things. I am also delighted to note that on Wednesday you will be receiving a copy of the new school magazine, The Caldicotian. Enjoy!

Today is our Open Morning and some thoughts about our school’s future are included so I will close by wishing you all an enjoyable half term and if you want to read my speech, here it is:

 

You join us today at an incredibly exciting time as I reflect on my first six months of headship at Caldicott. Everyone has worked hard to help me develop my understanding of this great school as, to coin a phrase, the outcomes are considerably more than the sum of the individual parts.

As you’d all expect we’re thinking long and hard about what we want to achieve, we’re ambitious and understanding our vision is probably a key objective for you today.

Increasingly clear to me is the value of three great pillars of ambition that not only help you understand our history, but also our exciting future:

  1. Treasure tradition - confident boys who know how to communicate effectively. Our tour guides today are the boys because we trust them!
  2. Cherish childhood - we strongly oppose the childhood crushing antics of some schools. We do things the Caldicott way: holistic, creative, thorough and fun.
  3. Blaze the educational trail - we focus on the learning journey and prepare the boys for a world that is changing before our eyes.

Since I spoke at our last Open Morning in June our outstanding staff have raised the bar and I invite you to speak to the tour guides about their passions for music, the arts, sport and our impressive programme of trips and residential visits. Two areas I’d like to talk about now are our academic record and boarding.

For some of you, we may be known as the school that doesn’t have formal prep in the first few years. As we know how busy and exciting the day can be, the boys need their rest when they get home. For others, I hope our academic record is what stands out. Our Year 8 left with the most scholarships any year group have ever achieved throughout our 114 year history, totalling 16, to 16 of the country’s top senior schools. From our CE candidates, of the grades allocated a massive 50% of grades were A* or A. In addition, four boys received prizes for their CE performance. We’re really proud of this and with our focus being a thriving academic culture for all boys, whether your son goes to a famous school with a scholarship or straightforward pass at CE, we are the place to be.

Our weekly boarding in Year 7 and 8, with new Heads of Boarding, is thriving and will always play an important role in our community. An Eton housemaster recently commented of an old boy: “He has been wonderfully engaging, polite and reliable and it is a pleasure that he is a boarder in our boarding house.” But we know that parents who aspire to top prep school education want more than assurances that their sons will thrive at some of the country’s top senior schools. We recognise that parenting styles have changed and some parents want to be more hands on. We recognise that in more families than ever before both mum and dad are working long, hard hours.

Weekly boarding at Caldicott has been evolving for the last few years. The move from Sunday night returns to Monday morning returns was popular when introduced last year. The decision earlier this year to offer weekly boarding in Year 5 and 6 alongside the vast majority of day boys, was welcomed by those that really needed it. I believe the time is right to review our provision for a third time, to ensure our boarding remains relevant and attractive to parents, so please follow us closely for announcements in 2019 where we may or may not change our current model.

To conclude, looking to the future, what will we be doing more of? As a snapshot, these things have all been talking points in recent meetings I have attended with colleagues…

Development of character and personality; an academic culture for all; guiding boys to be global citizens living a life worth living; we’re the school where Greek and coding go hand in hand; emotional intelligence is not an accidental benefit, it’s a goal that we’re passionate about delivering.

Thank you very much. In a moment I will organise you all into your groups and explain ‘next steps’, but first I am now delighted to introduce Matthew D (6th Form) who will play for you.

To read more stories from Caldicott, take a look at our News Archive and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages.