On the crest of a wave

By attending Classics Association lectures at AKS, I have been learning more about the Ancient Greeks and Romans. It is reported that they widely used individual insignia on their shields, which developed into coats of arms. These came into general use by feudal lords and knights in the 12th century, used for identification, particularly on the battlefield when armour hid the face. Later these symbols were adopted by families, proud of their lineage. Heraldic traditions moved on as a coat of arms was transmitted through generations of a family, descendants frequently adding differences to symbolise changes in character. Educational organisations

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Going Away

This week I was pleased to be able to see off the Year 3 and Year 4 residential trips (Year 4 pictured on arrival at Glaramara). Sunny mornings, bags packed, teachers checking and re-checking. For many, particularly in Year 3, this was their first time staying away from family. Standing with mums and dads by the side of the road, we watched the coaches depart, taking sons and daughters off for adventures far away. Much waving through the windows. There were a few anxious faces, perhaps a well concealed tear or two. The children, on the other hand, were all

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Giving and Getting

In our Easter assembly this morning, after considering concepts of sacrifice and hope, I invited the students to reflect on their current give/take ratio. Any of us feeling that we take more than we give might feel this is an appropriate time of year to seek to redress the balance. A similar thought came to me earlier in the month when I had the pleasure of accompanying one of our Tycoon in Schools groups to Buckingham Palace (pictured), where they were amongst 8 finalists in this national competition. For the second year running an AKS team was runner-up and was

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To Live Vicariously

Over half term I found myself talking to a niece who is thinking of going into teaching. She asked me if I’d still recommend the profession and what I personally enjoyed most. It was a good question that caused me to stop and think. We know that nationally there is a shortage of teachers, challenges abound. Negative news around budgets and bureaucracy. But I would absolutely recommend teaching if you like being with children/young people and if you are also passionate about your subject. I recall my first job, at Queen Katherine School in Kendal. I was amazed that someone

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Qualifications

Each year the Department for Education data for GCSE can confuse, particularly if applied to independent schools.  Each year I seek to explain why this league table cannot be used for schools like us who follow International GCSEs (IGCSEs).   My explanation in 2015 can be seen here: http://aksheadmastersblog.co.uk/bottom-of-the-table/ , 2016 can be seen here:  http://aksheadmastersblog.co.uk/0-and-aiming-high/ .  But confusion remains. The simple fact is that the traditionally more rigorous IGCSE qualifications do not score in these league tables. Last summer our Year 11 students took IGCSE in English Literature, English Language, maths, biology, physics, chemistry and combined science. All will

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Einstein and the power of a smile

One of our aims at AKS is to encourage students to develop success and value. I have mentioned before a quote from Albert Einstein “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value”. This was not intended to be gender limited; we certainly hope our young men and young women will have the aptitude and confidence to have a positive impact on those around them. I see this in school every day and in the way our students interact with those beyond the school gates. Sometimes one sees a photograph that captures

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