Headmaster’s Headlines – 07.01.22

Senior School
7 Jan 22

Happy New Year for 2022 to all the Sutton Valence community.

The atmosphere at both Schools has been very positive in the first couple of days and I know the students are pleased to be back in to (still slightly amended) School routines after a most welcome break. A notable amount of work took place preparing the campuses after the end of term and also during the days before term began and I am very grateful for the efforts of our support staff. Our boarding teams also had an early start to the term looking after some of our international students with their isolation and testing and the Drama department led rehearsals for Sleepy Hollow (we are currently deciding the safest and most prudent way to have selected audiences for the production).

We have welcomed some new colleagues to the Senior School this term. Mr Matthew Gossage joins our Mathematics department from Benenden School and we are also joined by Mae Horsley in the Marketing department. We have four new GAP students – Jessica Drapac and Katie Sutherland here at the Senior School and Archie Douglas and Emilie Hassall have joined the Prep School – who have come all the way from Australia. We hope that they will enjoy joining our special community.

In assembly today, we formally acknowledged this term’s Heads of School – Theodore Dransfield and Katherine Sawyer (both Upper Sixth). Theodore gave a very thoughtful speech to the School and we will hear from Katherine next week. I also spoke about ways in which we can approach the term ahead making positive contributions, remaining reflective and supportive, and ensuring we get the best out of the next ten weeks up to Easter.

I look forward to seeing a number of Fifth Form parents tomorrow morning, wrapped up warm, for a coffee at the HMs ‘At Home’ event outside the Refectory. Likewise, I hope there will be other opportunities to meet more parents at various events as the term progresses. If you are unable to come to School or do not feel comfortable doing so, then I am very happy to make myself available for a video call.

You will all have seen the correspondence from Mr Farrell about testing, further vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds and how we are regularly reviewing our COVID procedures. We receive daily information from the Department for Education as well as regular notes from bodies such as HMC and the BSA. Our goal is, as ever, to have the best balance possible between a regular School life by being as safe as possible whilst bearing in mind the situation with the ongoing pandemic. I am most grateful to you all for your support and understanding.

Miss Corkran has written separately to Prep parents about the start of term and the term ahead.

Best wishes for the Lent Term!

James Thomas, Headmaster