Senior School Blog - Gosfield School
A co-educational independent through school

26th May 2017

On Thursday we observed a minute’s silence, along with people across the country, in memory of the victims of the Manchester bombing. Such loss of life and devastation to families saddened us all, particularly as many of the victims were young people with potentially full and happy lives ahead of them. Out of horrific events of this kind, however, emerge kindness, community spirit and an added appreciation of our loved ones. This is what gives us all the courage to carry on with our lives and fills us with hope for the future even at the bleakest of times.

Our leaders face particular challenges nowadays, and we are looking ahead to the General Election in June. The PSHE and History Departments have been taking the lead in preparing pupils from Year 5 and up for a mock election which we will hold after half term. Posters made in tutor time are appearing around school for all the main parties—and others, including the Monster Raving Loony party! The mock election will give pupils a hands-on experience of the democratic process—even Year 10 who will be on work experience at the time and are completing ‘postal votes’.

I hope all of our pupils and families have a refreshing half term break. Let’s hope the lovely weather lasts and we can all get outside to enjoy it.

19th May 2017

It was good to see our wonderful new pavilion in use this week, not only by our cricketers but also by the PTA, who welcomed current and prospective parents to a coffee morning—and provided super cakes for the occasion. Prep parents stayed on for Year 3’s assembly which was, appropriately, all about the digestive system! The children clearly enjoyed taking part, especially while performing their rap. Year 9 also presented an assembly this week, focusing on two charities we are supporting: the RSPCA and PARC, which provides play and recreational facilities to additional needs children and young adults in Essex. They spoke about the good work these organisations undertake and ran a quiz to reinforce their message. Assemblies like these give our pupils of all ages the chance to share knowledge and views with their peers and develop confidence and presentation skills.

12th May 2017

What a busy, social week it has been here at Gosfield. On Saturday, staff, pupils and our new PTA ambassadors welcomed visitors to our Open Morning. As well as plenty of current and prospective families who came to see all a Gosfield education can offer, some Old Gosfieldians also visited to look around and to reminisce about their schooldays. Every aspect of Gosfield life was showcased, from art workshops and choir practice to ICT and business challenges. A special bear hunt took place in Forest School, and cricket skills were being honed in the Sports Hall.

Tuesday saw the Grand Opening of our recently completed Forest School and Cricket Pavilion. It is a fantastic new facility to support these two important components of our outdoor learning, and we were delighted that so many friends and family came along to help us celebrate. We are most grateful to the PTA whose fundraising efforts helped us build the pavilion and who, as ever, made sure there were lovely refreshments for our guests and for our young cricketers during the afternoon.

5th May 2017

Attending a Heads’ conference in York this week, I had the privilege of listening to a range of inspirational speakers, including author and educationalist Gervase Phinn and England football manager Gareth Southgate. I have been reflecting on their words, the messages they had for school leaders and what we could bring back to our schools.

Gervase Phinn reminded us of the creativity and resilience of young pupils and the importance of praise and encouragement. He disagrees with dismissing articulate and informed children as ‘precocious’, believing that these qualities arise from supportive families and schools and show aspiration in pupils from an early age. We are happy here to give children as young as 2 years old the chance to learn and grow through a stimulating and broad curriculum with plenty of hands on activities and skills development. Such learning was clearly seen at the Nursery’s birthday party last week: the children had great fun interacting with animals—and each other!—as well as joining in activities that stimulated their imaginations and exercised their minds and bodies.

Gareth Southgate spoke about his aim as a coach and manager to help young players be the best that they can be, focusing not only on results but the path that leads to success, the values and culture that promote aspiration and risk-taking. In our Senior School, while we recognise the importance of academic results and qualifications, we know that the skills and mindset developed in Forest School, on the sports field, through the performing arts not only ensure our pupils are well rounded and collaborative members of the school community but give them the confidence to achieve in the lessons and exams, too.

We are looking forward to welcoming visitors on Open Morning to share our school’s special ethos and vision and to the Grand Opening of the new Forest School and Cricket Pavilion on Tuesday, a facility that will support the vital learning at Gosfield that goes on beyond the classroom.

21st April 2017

We have been happy to welcome all of our pupils back this week and hope that they had a very pleasant and refreshing break. As usual, there was plenty going on over Easter, including a most successful ski trip, revision sessions for examination candidates and activity days in Meadow Court. I am most grateful to staff who provided these opportunities and to parents for their support. Thanks go also to those who came in during the holidays to help put some of the finishing touches to our brand new cricket and forest school pavilion, which is looking splendid and will soon be ready for use. You will remember that this new facility was made possible by funds raised by the PTA, who continue to support the school in so many ways.

As we look ahead to another busy term, we paused to consider the significance of the Easter celebrations that have just finished. The Reverend Rose Braisby, who addressed pupils in our whole school assembly this week, reminded us of the story of Easter and the great mystery that the Christian church is founded upon, as well as entertaining us with a fun game of ‘egg roulette’ and leading us in song. Whatever our beliefs, it was an opportunity to be thankful for the rejuvenating power of springtime, for our school community and for our family and friends.

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