27th March 2012
I write at the end of another Easter term after nine years as Headmaster, when the glorious spring weather over the last few weeks has precipitated the arrival of short sleeves and shorter skirts!
In an exciting new development, I am delighted to welcome Lucy Stirling, who will begin work at the end of April, as our Marketing Manager. Lucy’s appointment and our commissioning of a marketing report are not steps towards making us grow beyond our carrying capacity, however, but will merely enable us to develop in a way that is right for Abbotsholme. With the correct recipe and good ingredients, we will make an ‘exceedingly good cake’. I am committed to the fact that Abbotsholme will remain small, for we have no aspirations to become an unwieldy institution like other schools that have large numbers of pupils. Small is good for Abbotsholme. It keeps us friendly. It keeps us family.
We had considered a number of options for the location of a Sixth Form Centre. One afternoon, I was in the studies, looking at RSJs and tiles with Richard Mayfield, when Lucy Darling (Upper Sixth) rushed in and found two unexpected visitors. ‘I thought you were Sixth Formers, Sir,’ she flattered, in order to avoid the inevitable, ‘Are you supposed to be working?’ Lucy said that the studies would be a ‘perfect’ site, as the ‘shed’ was just too far to walk to. ‘Give it to Year 11 as their Common Room,’ she suggested. ‘They are younger and fitter than us.’ From such conversations, strategy develops, and Peter Bull started construction this week. The building of the Sixth Form Centre - self-christened, ante-mortem, ‘The SF Centre’ - is very exciting for our current Year 11 and Lower Sixth. The Sixth Form will now have their own base right in the heart of the school, where it is certainly not ‘too far to walk to’.
Our new prospectus tells the story of Abbotsholme through the eyes of Abbotsholmians, and explains the journey in the words of those who have travelled. Governors, Staff and pupils have done a huge amount of work on this, and I am very grateful to them for doing so. The new prospectus will be ready for the start of the summer term.
As you can see, a great deal of work has been done in this short academic term, and Abbotsholme is stronger as a result. It has been a good term, and the SMT and staff have continued to work hard for the benefit of this great school. Dr Paul Kirtley’s letter is self-explanatory, and shows the governors’ continued passion and care for Abbotsholme. Our school is indebted to them.
I wish all pupils who are taking their A levels and GCSEs the best of luck, and advise them to work hard on revision over the Easter break, for ‘the harder you practise, the luckier you get’.
Glad Day, Love and Duty.
S J Fairclough