Sowing Seeds (and bones)

When I was in junior school I remember wanting a career as a dinosaur hunter. Someone would pay me handsomely to travel the world discovering and digging up monster skeletons. In senior school I realised that dinosaurs were rarer than I had hoped, so I progressed to wanting to be a geologist, being paid even more to dig up important rocks. I have no idea where these early thoughts came from; there was no careers advice that I can remember. The last thing I would ever have considered was dentistry. The sole intention of my childhood dentist seemed to be

View Full Post

Bucking the Trend

People often talk about an economic divide between the North and the South, which may also impact on the demand for independent schooling. The percentage of the population attending fee paying schools is higher in the South, this regional variation appears to have been increasing. The Times recently reported that since 2007 London has seen a 13% increase in numbers of Independent school students, the South East not far behind, with particular growth in the number of international students. Over the same period the North has seen a decline, with the North East down by 17%. I am delighted to

View Full Post

Down to Business

Last term four Year 12 teams entered the Tycoons for Schools national competition. They had to apply for funding, set up and run businesses, then present accounts and results. Two teams were judged as being in the top 10 across the whole country. Our boys made it to the finals and so went down to Buckingham Palace to present in front of HRH The Duke of York and the ‘Dragon’ himself, Peter Jones. They came back as runners up. Both the boys and girls were commended not only for their ambition and hard work but also their team spirit, vital for any

View Full Post

My best day at school

A student recently asked me what my own best day at school was. As a teacher and as a head teacher I have had so many great days, it would be very difficult to pick one. However, the intention of the question was to identify my best day as a student. Well, that was a very long time ago, frankly I find it hard to remember. Rare school trips might feature, especially one to North Wales where I felt particularly challenged. Good results or prizes were nice when they happened, as were the very few occasions I was picked for

View Full Post

An Inspector Calls

HM Blog 220316 An Inspector Calls (Large)

I was freezing, I don’t think I’d ever been anywhere so cold. It was February 2014, I had been asked to inspect the English School of Ulaanbator, Mongolia. As a geographer I should have known that it is the coldest capital city in the world. I walked round the school site over the 3 days, cursing the limitations of my wardrobe. A few months later I led inspection of The Green School, Bali, altogether happier weather conditions for someone based in Thailand. But the differences in climate were nothing compared to the differences in curriculum, assessment and pedagogy. Both great

View Full Post

Brother-and-Sisterhood

It is now two weeks since our school musical Bugsy Malone, which played to 5 full houses at Lowther Pavilion in Lytham. It followed straight after the news that Sweeney Todd, our 2015 production, had received 4 awards from NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) including best Youth Production of that year for our region of the North-West. Bugsy had a hard act to follow, but it did not disappoint. It has already been acclaimed in all aspects of the production, see the NODA review here. The acting, singing, dancing and music took our breath away, but what made it

View Full Post