Headmaster's Blog | Friday 12 March 2021

12 March 2021

 

The whole school assembly on Monday held great meaning as it had to pave the way for the post-coronavirus landscape that is looming. William Yeats wrote ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire’ and his words resonate in the same way as those of our founder who wrote that Caldicott’s purpose was to ‘give every boy the chance to shine their light on the world’. Teachers across the globe have gone to extraordinary measures to keep those fires burning and those lights shining brightly. We thank each and every one of them, particularly those here at Caldicott. Yeats’ words were easily grasped by the boys in that assembly as time and again they hear us talk about not only fulfilment of academic potential, but also about breadth and good character. We would be a poor version of ourselves if all we did was impart more knowledge as some schools still seem to do. Caldicott gives the boys a raging fire of education which means they will go out into the world with the desire to be global citizens, doing good. We’ve missed the boys, but we’re back together and all is well.

As you know we are evolving. Whilst honouring the tradition of Caldicott, we strive to maintain relevance. Initiatives such ‘The Global Goals’ taught through our PSHE lessons have had me held to account this week in ways I would not have expected. Never before have I been asked by a boy to describe the gender mix in the senior team. With three males and three females, the boy was satisfied and the grilling was over! The model for Caldicott is also evolving as part of our near constant review of how best to prepare boys for a top tier senior school. A five day week for the 1st and 2nd Form, Saturday School from the 3rd Form and only weekly or full boarding in the 5th and 6th Form is a unique offer and in our view, a superior offer of which we are proud. With the introduction of flexi and occasional boarding for the 1st to 4th Form new families from London and local families too, can see that the commute can be broken up and others who once drove past us to boarding schools further out, no longer see the need. The jewel in our crown is the clarity of what we do and why we do it – there really is no messing around with the multitude of routes through education. Old Caldicotians who look back and say, time and again, that those two years of weekly boarding at Caldicott made the transition to senior school better than their parents could have dreamed and they never looked back, going from strength to strength as they go.

The formation of ‘The Caldicott Foundation’ and early work on the development potential to improve our site dominate my time at the moment and so I am confident that this momentum is to everyone’s advantage. We have one foot planted in the post-coronavirus landscape and so alongside all things related to ‘Hands / Face / Space’ we are looking to the future with the boys’ best interests central to all that we do.

Have a good weekend.

 

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