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

9th December 2015

What a pleasure it was to see all the pupils enjoying themselves and getting into the holiday spirit on Monday. The Prep School party was great fun, complete with dancing and games and a visit from Father Christmas. In the evening, pupils in the Senior School looked glamorous and elegant as they celebrated together, enjoying the buffet, disco and photo booth - a new feature this year. I am grateful to all the staff and pupils who helped make both parties go with a swing and to the PTA for supporting the events again.

We look forward to welcoming our families and friends to the end of term Carol Service on Thursday in St Andrew's. I wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas and every good fortune in the New Year.

1st December 2015

Dove of Peace

Christmas always comes early to Gosfield! The tree is up and twinkling in the entrance hall and the School Office is decked with holly. Our first Christmas event took place yesterday: the Reception to Year 2 nativity play, 'A Little Bird Told Me.' Our young performers were fantastic, singing beautifully and delivering their lines with confidence, whether they were wise men, sheep, angels or some of the less traditional but most welcome visitors to the manger: birds of all shapes and sizes. We are looking forward to the Prep School concert on Friday which will no doubt contribute further to the Christmas spirit and to our traditional parties and carol service next week.

In assembly today, Year 5 reminded us of a Christmas long ago as they re-enacted the 1914 truce, when German and British soldiers put down their weapons and joined together in peaceful celebration. The pupils sang Silent Night in both English and German, which was very poignant. At a time when we are all hoping for peace on earth, in the face of so much global conflict, it was salutary to be reminded of the spontaneous goodwill that the Christmas season can create.

25th November 2015

Lest we forget

Our annual Cut Hedge cross-country competition took place this morning, and it was good to see so many boys and girls from local school s coming to take part in this traditional event. The weather was perfect for the races: not too cold, and even a little sunshine, but plenty of mud under foot, which is, of course, a prerequisite. The runners displayed talent, determination and stamina to complete the course. I was delighted to hand out individual and team medals to boys and girls from 10 different schools—including Gosfield—and to present the coveted Cut Hedge Trophy to this year's overall winning school, St Margaret's. I am most grateful to the PE staff and everyone involved in making the event such a success, including the PTA who kept us warm with hot drinks. My thanks also go to all those who took part and came to support the runners. I hope they enjoyed visiting our school and our magnificent grounds.

19th November 2015

Last week, Mrs Redfern, Director of Studies, and I attended the annual ISA Autumn Study Conference. As usual, the session covered a broad range of topics, this year’s theme being curriculum innovation in Britain’s independent schools. Presentations on examination reform, curriculum design, creative learning and SEN provision proved stimulating and thought-provoking, and we have brought back to Gosfield plenty of ideas. One panel session focused on outdoor learning, and it was excellent to hear forest school schemes being championed for all they contribute to children’s development. I am delighted that we have been able to extend our forest school provision to Year 7 pupils, who are now spending some of their PSHE lessons in Cub Wood. The lessons are proving extremely popular and we are already contributing to our youngest Senior School pupils’ confidence, risk-taking, leadership and co-operative learning skills. Another session at the conference reminded us of the importance of the arts to children of all ages. The ISA national art competition took place on the final day, and we were very proud that two pieces from Gosfield were being exhibited alongside the very best school artwork from across the country. Although they did not win prizes, they were much admired. It really is all about taking part, as our swimmers also showed us recently: we entered a good number of boys and girls from both Prep and Senior schools in the ISA regional events. Not all of them will go forward to the national competition at the Olympic pool next term, but many only narrowly missed out, and they should all be very proud of their achievement and having represented the school so well.

11th November 2015

Lest we forget

This morning on the news I heard that 38% of the UK population did not intend to mark the two minute silence today, Armistice Day. Here at Gosfield, we come together as a community to show our respect, as people have since 1919, when the first Remembrance Day was marked. Here is how that day was reported in the Manchester Guardian: 'The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect. The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also….The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city….And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.'

In tutor time and assemblies this week, we have been reflecting on the horror of war, on the sacrifices made by so many men and women across the world and across the years, and, most importantly, on how we should strive for peace. We have also bought poppies to help us remember and to support those who continue to be affected by conflict. Focusing on Remembrance traditions reminds us how much there is still to do to establish peace throughout the world, and the part we can each play in building positive relationships based on tolerance, respect and kindness.

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