Head’s Blog

Judo News!

Well done to Oliver Futcher who won a silver medal in the Kent Judo Tournament at Dartford last week (beating someone who was a whole weight band and nine gradings higher in the process!)

Oliver has now been selected for the Kent Squad for 2019/2020 and will compete in the regionals in Sussex in May.

This is a tremendous achievement given that he only started the sport a year ago!

Tempus Fugit

In Design and Technology pupils have recently been working independently to design and manufacture wooden perpetual calendars.

Calculating the correct angles, gear ratios and dimensions within given parameters has proved to be an interesting mathematical challenge but the finished outcomes have been produced to a high standard and look set to stand the test of time….

Musical Family

Congratulations to two of our talented young musicians….

Olivia and Jonty Harris-Harding have been invited to take part in an event this Sunday with Deal Music and Arts, an educative project linked to the Philharmonia’s Virtual Orchestra interactive installation at the Sidney Cooper Gallery in Canterbury.

The installation offers people of all ages the opportunity to explore what it is like being part of an orchestra through an immersive installation of Holst’s The Planets Suite, as well as to experience sitting as part of the orchestra through virtual reality.

Both children will also be taking part in the Deal Music and Arts Festival as part of New Sounds in July.

Pan Rocks! Matinee

Last Friday we welcomed 300 pupils from a number of local schools to see a matinee performance of Pan Rocks!

It was great to see the staff and children from Preston Primary, Blean Primary, Whitstable Junior School, Boughton-under-Blean & Dunkirk Primary and Hernhill Primary.

The event was a big success and we hope many of the visiting pupils will also be participating in this year’s St Edmund’s Festival.

Sports Fest

70 local children (from St Edmund’s and elsewhere) enjoyed a celebration of sport on Saturday morning at the school.

The programme, run by our own sports teachers, included cricket, football, trampolining, tennis, netball and hockey.

It was a brilliant event (blessed with beautiful weather) and I am very grateful to our sports staff for making it such a successful and enjoyable occasion.

A Stellar Hymn Practice

st edmund's chapel

In the Star Trek movies, Starfleet trainees famously face the Kobayashi Maru test. It is a no win scenario: a test of leadership under pressure against impossible odds. Leading a hymn practice at 830am with 300+ tired teenagers is the St Edmund’s equivalent of the Kobayashi Maru.

Mr Payne is our Captain Kirk though and, through force of personality, he is always able to bend the rules of the universe to win through.

Today was a masterclass. He joked, he cajoled, he encouraged, he remonstrated, he jumped around, he gave musical direction, he sung, he supported individuals, he worked with groups, he told us how to breathe and how to un-hunch our shoulders. And eventually…eventually…his enthusiasm won through. By the fifth hymn, he had the pupils with him and a wonderful, rich St Edmund’s sound emerged. Somehow, at great personal cost, he had defeated the no-win scenario.

Life long and prosper Mr Payne!

CCF Top Brass on Parade

It’s good to see Captain Jones and Colour Sergeant French suited, booted and deployed at the Defence Academy Boarding Schools Show at Shrivenham.

The aim of the show is to provide Armed Forces families with an insight into the benefits of boarding school life. Judging by the photograph, our team is the first to set up – I’d expect nothing less!

Sports Stars

Well done to the intrepid team of ten who headed to Dover on Saturday morning for the Dover College Invitational Cross Country event. It was an epic run, mainly uphill, through tunnels and gates, around a Norman Fort and along muddy woodland trails. Jildou Chappell (Middle Fifth) achieved a stunning first place in the girls’ race, finishing two minutes ahead of the next runner. Riley Robertson (Middle Fifth) came 4th in the boy’s race, beaten only by sixth formers. A very impressive performance too.

Congratulations also go to Alexandra Millard (Lower Sixth).  Already an elite middle distance and cross country runner herself, Alexandra was invited by the Lord Mayor of Canterbury to attend a civic reception this week. The event celebrated the achievements of many local athletes who are achieving recognition at national level. https://news.canterbury.gov.uk/sports-stars-celebrated-at-civic-reception/

Curiosity Shop

st edmund's school

For this week’s Curiosity Shop, Mr Whitman, our Head of English, introduced pupils to Martin Heidegger’s philosophical masterpiece Being and Time.  After an overview of Heidegger’s life and a brief summary of his influence on others, Mr Whitman took pupils – at a brisk canter –  through Heidegger’s ‘fundamental analysis’ of human being, touching on ‘dasein’, ‘being-in-the-world’, ‘care’ and the importance of time.  Pupils were introduced also to the Heideggerian concepts of ‘dread’, ‘fallenness’, ‘idle talk’ and ‘curiosity’, their importance to understanding our responsibility towards ourselves and our potential and the obstacles we might encounter in pursuit of our ‘ownmost possibility’.  Following the talk, searching – read ‘tough’! – questions came from Ben Shepherd and Matty Nordin.


Tonight, six pupils in M5 and U5 will be taking part in the English Speaking Union’s public speaking competition at the Guildhall in Canterbury. This is the South-East Final of the competition. I wish Miriam Inglis, Iris Mickleburgh, Nathaniel Florence-Wratten, Henrik Kane, Alexander McGovern and Isobel Wanstall the very best of luck as they take on their different roles as speech givers, chairs and questioners.