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

5th October 2015

Enrichment Day on Friday involved pupils in all sorts of challenges, from the ever-popular climbing tower to enterprise competitions to music workshops. As usual, everyone took part with enthusiasm and thoroughly enjoyed the day, even if they found themselves out of their comfort zone: for some, that meant being bounced about in inflatables; for others, it was performing modern dance routines in front of their peers. Taking risks in a safe, supportive environment helps to build confidence and resilience, which is as much a part of a Gosfield education as making academic progress. That's why we organise these events on a regular basis.

The richness of the educational experience here is something we hope to share with our visitors on Open Morning this coming Saturday. For the first time, we are inviting them not only to look around the school and speak to pupils and staff but to take part in activities including Forest School, sports and performing arts sessions, to get a real flavour of all that Gosfield has to offer young people. Do come along and join in!

1st October 2015

I have been away part of this week at the annual conference of the Independent Association of Prep Schools in Newport, Wales, meeting Heads of other schools and representatives from the Department for Education and attending a range of thought-provoking sessions on everything from story-telling in the Early Years classroom to updates on inspection.

After such events, there is always plenty to think about and bring back to our school, with a view to enhancing the education we offer to our Gosfield pupils. A recurrent theme in education at the moment is adaptability-or 'agility' as it is often referred to in business: the ability to recognise when things need to be changed and act on that knowledge. This applies to school leaders and managers, but also to teachers in the classroom and, of course, the pupils themselves. It is important that we help our young people to have the skills and confidence to react positively to new situations and ideas, drawing on what they have learnt.

We were reminded by one of the speakers that literacy in the 21st century is not only being able to read and write, but being able to 'learn, unlearn and re-learn'-not getting stuck in particular thought patterns or processes but reacting to shifting situations with alacrity and enthusiasm. As we face yet more changes to the curriculum, the examination system and the inspection regime, I think I and my colleagues can learn a lot from our pupils, who every day are facing new challenges, using their initiative and taking delight in fresh opportunities to learn and grow.

22nd SEPTEMBER 2015

As a school, we are always keen to support good causes, recognising how important it is to help those who are less fortunate than we are. The Science Department assembly last week focused on genetic disorders that have a huge impact on the day to day lives of so many children. The young people coping with these disorders and their carers are an inspiration to all of us, remaining positive and living full, rich lives to the best of their ability. Friday was Jeans for Genes day, when we had the chance to raise money to help such families.

This week, we turn our attention to two other causes. On an annual basis, representatives from LEPRA come and give an assembly reminding us about their continuing fight against leprosy. This will be followed up with a LEPRA fundraising activity session later this term-which might help us burn off some of the calories from our event this Friday: the Macmillan Coffee Morning bake sale. What a great and tasty way to raise money for cancer research!

We are looking forward to the PTA 'Hollywood Glamour' Grand Ball this Saturday, when parents, staff and friends will put on their most elegant evening wear and gather for a wonderful evening of dining and dancing and, most importantly, fundraising, both for the School and for Essex Air Ambulance, a vital service in our area which has made such a difference to the lives of those in our community.

09th SEPTEMBER 2015

Here we all are again, at the start of a new school year, with plenty to look forward to. This week, we have enjoyed welcoming over 40 new pupils to Gosfield. As I explained in assembly on Monday, they are joining a very special, friendly community. I also talked about our Mission Statement: to provide an environment within which all our pupils feel valued and able to achieve personal excellence in all aspects of life. We have expanded our activities programme this term, to offer all sorts of different experiences for them, from samba band to electronics, cricket to flower arranging. It is so important that our young people develop their creativity, spirit of enquiry, physical and communication skills—all of which support their learning in the classroom and help them become well-rounded and confident.

Personal excellence is an important phrase: we do not measure one pupil against another, and we celebrate success in all its forms. Of course, over the summer, we had cause to celebrate the splendid public examination results that our candidates achieved: it was pleasing to see them reach their personal potential and, in the case of the Upper Sixth, fulfill their ambitions beyond Gosfield. All of those who applied to university will soon be starting their courses, and others have secured jobs and apprenticeships that will also put to very good use all they have learned here.

As we settle into the longest term, I Iook forward to seeing all of our pupils make progress in their studies, develop a wide range of skills, form new friendships—and have plenty of fun, too. 

 

01st July 2015

School seems very quiet this week as pupils take part in all sorts of activities and adventures abroad and closer to home: Bushcraft in Kent, football in Portugal, coastal challenges in Pembrokeshire, theatre trips to London, fun at Gosfield Lake and so much more! The Pre Prep have the run of the place and are having a great time with monsters: listening to stories about them, making their own pictures and pillows and even looking for monsters in the grounds. We look forward to Speech Day next week and the summer holidays. Let’s hope the sunshine lasts.

 

 

 

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