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A co-educational independent through school
Nursery – Prep – Senior – Sixth Form

12th January 2017


I wish you all a very happy new year. The term is already well underway. Our older pupils were straight into mock examinations last week—a bit of a shock to the system after the festive break, but they seemed well-prepared and will, I hope, have gained a lot from the exam practice. There is plenty of hard work ahead of them and all our pupils as we face another busy term—and plenty of extra-curricular opportunities, too.

In January, we tend to take stock and think about what the new year will hold and how we can make positive steps towards our personal goals. In assembly this week, we thought about all those special people who have received New Years Honours for not only fulfilling their own ambitions but for making a positive contribution to their communities. We are all familiar with the famous sportsmen and women, actors and celebrities who have been honoured. However, there are many people who are not in the limelight but have achieved a great deal. The oldest recipient this year was 99 year-old Dorothy Start for over half a century of committed community work and charitable giving. The youngest was 13 year-old Jonjo Heuerman who has raised over £200,000 for the Bobby Moore Fund at Cancer Research UK.

As we start a new year and a new term, I hope we can all be inspired to help others, use our time and our talents wisely and pursue our goals with confidence.

23rd November 2016


What a fantastic event our 50th Cut Hedge cross-country event was today! We had more schools than ever take part and it was marvellous to see so many young athletes rising to the challenge of the course and enjoying our wonderful grounds. Many congratulations go to the overall winners from Elm Green School who took home the coveted Cut Hedge trophy and to all the runners who placed in their races. We were delighted that Gosfield’s Year 7-8 boys won silver in the team event, with the Year 7-8 girls achieving bronze medals. As ever, I am most grateful to the PE Department, all the staff and pupils helpers and the PTA who supplied hot chocolate and other refreshments for our runners and visitors.

 

Cut Hedge is our last big event before we start to prepare for all of our Christmas celebrations as we approach the end of term. I can sense some of our pupils—the young ones in particular—getting excited already, and we all got in to the festive spirit early when the Prep School gave us a sneak preview of their nativity and concert in assembly on Monday!

17th November 2016


This is Anti-Bullying Week and our Year 8 pupils gave a very thought-provoking Senior School assembly contributing to our focus this half term on the power of words. They showed how words can hurt, damage self esteem and, in the worst cases, lead to self harm and suicide. I was impressed by how sensitively yet confidently our pupils explored the issues and spoke of their own experiences. They also showed how words can inspire and encourage, how we can speak out to help make a change in people’s attitudes.

Tomorrow, we move from words to action as we raise money for Children in Need. This year, there are even more creative pupil-led activities to enjoy, and we are all looking forward to wearing our spotty clothes and having lots of fun knowing that we can make a real difference to the lives of children across the country. 

9th November 2016

 

At this time of year, in common with schools throughout the country, we remember all those affected by the World Wars of the last century and other conflicts since. The poppies we wear remind us of those who died in combat and all killed or injured in the line of duty, whether military or civilian. Through the sale of poppies, the British legion has helped 9.5 million people whose lives have been so deeply affected by war.

In a whole school assembly this week, we focused on the effect of war on children. Our pupils were given the opportunity to reflect on life for boys and girls of their age a hundred years ago during the First World War. Children as young as twelve worked in factories; boy scouts and girl guides helped with first aid, fire fighting and growing vegetables; savings and pocket money were given to military hospitals and charities. Their lives were challenging, uncertain and often sad, as they came to terms with the loss of fathers and brothers.

We also thought about children affected by current conflicts and the charities that help them, including World Vision, which is making a huge difference to the lives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

It is most appropriate that soon after Remembrance comes Children in Need day, when pupils will again be thinking about children of their own age in dire situations and doing their part to help them. It is through humanity, empathy and generosity that we can pave the way for a peaceful and brighter future for all young people. 

Blog 4th November

It has been good to see all of our pupils and staff returning refreshed from the half term break. It was certainly busy in the run up to the holiday, what with the Harvest Service, Enrichment Day—when the House Tug of War event was re-instated, and the fantastic achievement of our U13 girls’ football team who won the plate competition at the National Football Festival in Ascot. This half term will be equally busy, of course, with trips and fixtures, the 50th anniversary Cut Hedge cross country event, as well as plenty of learning in and out of the classroom and all the excitement of the build up to (dare I say it yet?) Christmas.

Keeping our young people engaged and enthusiastic is key to their academic and social development, so when we hosted 18 prospective Year 7 pupils today, we gave them an action-packed sample of what life at Gosfield could hold for them—everything from Forest School to robotics, Spanish to Art. I was very impressed how well they did in my English lesson, identifying poetic techniques including personification and onomatopoeia and writing super poems about Bonfire Night. I hope they all had a fantastic—if exhausting—day and are looking forward to joining us in due course. We have certainly enjoyed getting to know them.

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