On the first day back of the summer term, following a challenging year of Covid restrictions, some of which are still in place within the school, Principal, Louise North, spoke to Senior School pupils in front of the school about her hopes for the new term and her steadfast resolution that this term will be ‘one to remember’. Here is her full address:

By Principal Louise North

Welcome back!

It is fabulous to have you here and I hope that you don’t mind too much being outside. We will not be meeting like this every week, but to see the entire Senior School community in one place after a year of being broken up into groups or bubbles, is a treat. Just look around you and be reminded of the community to which you all belong.

So, I hope that Easter has been good for you. I hope that you have been able to rest, and maybe that you have had chance to catch up with one another over this last week in particular.

My Easter break consisted of:

  • sleep
  • watching Parks and Rec which I discovered to be hilarious
  • helping my dog, Eddie, recover from meningitis by force feeding him a smorgasbord of pills every day
  • walking on the beach in snow, hail, rain and sunshine
  • reading
  • completing a very difficult 1000 piece jigsaw
  • and I have also fallen in love with the birds in my garden.

Over this last year, whether in school or on the news, whether in conversation with friends and family, we have done a lot of reflecting back on things past. Today, I want us to look forward both to what lies ahead for the term, and indeed beyond.

For some of you, it is your last term in the school. For those of you in Year 13 who joined the school in Year 12, it must feel very strange. This will be only your third full term in school. For those of you who started in the nursery – and I know there are a few of you – this must feel like the end of a very long journey and the step beyond the gates will feel even more momentous when it comes.

For others amongst you, more than normally would be the case, this term will be your first summer term. All of you in Year 9 and 10, and all those of you who have joined the school since September 2019, this is our first summer term.

Whether your first or your last, or whether somewhere in between, what I do know for sure is that we are going to make this a summer term to remember. The restrictions that we have become used to remain in place for now, but as the term progresses, we will, I hope, see them lifted.

So, for now keep smiling behind the masks. Enjoy being together, work hard, stay focused on the joy to be found in learning and achieving your best. Good luck to those of you in Year 11 and 13 who will be facing a series of assessments and tests in advance of your Teacher Assessed Grades and good luck to Years 9, 10 and 12 for your internal examinations as and when they come and. Do your best, believe in yourself and embrace the challenges that come your way.

Finally, I want to reassure you that Speech Day and Prize Giving are both very much in my sights and in my plans. This will be a day where we celebrate all of you. What you have achieved over the course of this past calendar year is remarkable, and it deserves recognition and celebration. Speech Day will look somewhat different to past years, so brace yourselves and when the opportunity comes to be involved, seize it and be a part of something very special.

In the meantime, make the most of every minute. Welcome back.

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