Headmaster’s Headlines – 17.06.22

Senior School
17 Jun 22

Our end-of-year events are taking place thick and fast at the moment. I attended the Pre-Prep Celebration this week and got to see the youngest members of our community beaming as they collected cups, vouchers and books before an incredibly active Sports Day afterwards. Similar events will take place soon with the various other phases of both the Prep and Senior Schools; do check your calendars and come along if you can. There is a great deal to celebrate.

Today, it was a pleasure to welcome members from all the schools of the United Westminster and Greycoat Foundation for the annual Day of Athletics competition. We had an array of students, staff, governors, trustees and parents all around the track, absolutely boiling in the 30 degrees heat and there was a great atmosphere. We have very good relationships with the Foundation itself and with its schools (usually on a background operational and management level) but I am pleased that students can benefit from events such as these. We look forward to further competitions of an academic and creative nature too coming back in the future.

Next week, we have the ‘Rose Ceremony’ which will take place on Tuesday. We will welcome various members of the local village and community here to pay the annual ‘rent’ to the School which comprises a rose! The Chairman of the Parish Council will say these words:

Sir, By a lease dated the 20th of December 1957, the Master and four Wardens of the Guild of Fraternity of Clothworkers in the city of London, as Governors of this Free Grammar School of William Lambe, granted a lease of what is now the Village Green to the Parish Council for a term of 99 years, and with characteristic and mediaeval generosity fixed the rent to be paid as one Red Rose to be presented to the Headmaster for the time being of this school on Midsummer Day.

We therefore come here, Sir, as Members of the Parish Council, and as the representatives of the inhabitants of this village, to pay the rent now due, and to express our appreciation of the happy relationship between School and Village.

I will then reply:

I thank you on behalf of the Governors of Sutton Valence School for this beautiful rose which I accept as due payment for the use of the village green and as a symbol of the long standing, close and good relationship between Town and Gown in Sutton Valence.

I would ask you to convey my thanks to the full Parish Council when next they meet and would assure you of all our good wishes for the coming year.

Traditions such as these are important: they remind us how we are part of a wider community that we both serve and support. I look forward to it a great deal.

Over the next week or so, we have ‘moving up’ days for our Prep students as they meet their new class teachers for next year as well as Induction Days for our new First, Second, Third and Sixth Form students. I am sure that we will all make a great effort to welcome and support students as they prepare for the next stages in their educational journeys. They grow up quickly, don’t they!

James Thomas, Headmaster