Head’s Blog

Festival!

Preparations are in full swing for the St Edmund’s Festival which starts next week.

This year we have an amazing programme starting with headline act Curtis Stigers on Wednesday night. The schedule also includes Pupil Cabaret Night,  Open Water in Concert, MCC vs St Edmund’s Cricket, The Derek Nash Funk Experience, The Passion and, of course, Abba-Dabba-Do!

It promises to be a unique and exciting week which allows our pupils (and those from some local schools too) to work alongside professional performers.

We are especially grateful to Paul Roberts Associates, who once again, are our principal sponsor. Without their generous support, the event simply would not be possible.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sports News

Joe Gordon (L6) has followed his astonishing innings of 224 against The Canterbury Academy last week with selection for the Kent Men’s 2nd XI. He played for Kent against Warwickshire this week and scored an amazing 57 on his debut against seasoned professional opponents.

Last weekend Alex Millard (L6, see photo) won the 800m and 1500m double in the Kent County Athletics stadium at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. This was a tremendous performance and Alex now looks forward to the English Schools Championships in July.

At the same event, Jildou Chappell (M5) won the silver medal in the Javelin with an exceptional throw of 28.77m.

Huge congratulations to all three pupils on these impressive achievements.

Leavers

There was a party atmosphere at school yesterday as our current Upper Sixth enjoyed their last day. The theme this year was ‘carnival’ and in addition to samba beats, whistles, party poppers and some incredible costumes, we were treated in chapel to a brilliant video prepared by the pupils celebrating their time at the school. This was followed by a Staff v Pupils Rounders match, an ice cream van (very popular) and then brunch on the Terrace.

It was a brilliant occasion, expertly overseen by Mr Mount our Head of Sixth Form. My thanks to the pupils for giving us such a colourful and good natured event.

We wish them every success for their A Level examinations.

Windlesham House School

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of speaking in Chapel at Windlesham House School in West Sussex.

This is the fourth time I have spoken there at the invitation of their Head, Richard Foster. It was their Grandparents’ Day and I talked about the wisdom of listening to the advice of our elders! I then met Windlesham families to talk about St Edmund’s.

It was a great experience and my thanks as always to Richard and Rachael Foster for their hospitality.

Confirmation Service

There was a wonderful confirmation service in the school chapel last night.

Five Junior School pupils were confirmed by Bishop of Dover, The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott.

Bishop Trevor is retiring in May and so this was his last official appearance at St Edmund’s. He has been a strong supporter of the school over the years and we wish him health and every happiness for the future.

My thanks also go to The Reverend Steve Bennett for organising this event, the Chapel Choir (with Mr Payne) who performed brilliantly as always, and to all those parents and staff who attended.

Partnership and Collaboration

Today I am attending the HMC Spring Conference at the British Library. The theme for today is ‘Partnership and Collaboration’.  St Edmund’s plays an active role in the local community through various ongoing programmes.  Our Interact charity committee is involved in fundraising for local causes. East Kent Children’s Orchestra provides a wonderful outlet for the area’s musical talent. As members of East Kent Schools Together we share ideas, practice and resources with other local schools. This year’s Festival will also have significant involvement from a number Canterbury and Whitstable schools too. We are currently exploring other, innovative ways of connecting into the community. So today’s conference should be interesting and hopefully provide some useful insights from other schools.

Marathon success

Congratulations to our intrepid London Marathon trio of Helena Millard, Leigh Millard and Nick Scott-Kilvert.

They all completed the 26 mile and 385 yard course yesterday and, impressively, all made it in to school on Monday morning!

Nick completed the race in 6 hours and 3 minutes, raising over £2,000 for cancer charities. Helena finished in 3 hours and 50 minutes – a fantastic result.  She has now completed three marathons in three different countries in almost identical times. Leigh was aiming to break three hours and I am pleased to report that he did so, crossing the line in 2 hours 59 minutes and 43 seconds.

Very well done to the three of them!

I am almost tempted to get my Nikes on and get out there myself.

Almost…

Hockey champions

Congratulations are also due to Rebecca Lea from the PE Department.

Over Easter, she was a key member of the Canterbury Ladies Hockey Team that won the Over 35 Women’s Tier 1 National Championships. The competition took place at the Olympic Park in London and I am told Rebecca played brilliantly.

Well done to Rebecca and Canterbury Ladies Hockey on a tremendous achievement.

Mrs Shearer visiting Kenya

Mrs Shearer our Senior Deputy Head is currently representing St Edmund’s at an educational show in Nairobi, Kenya.

This is both a recruitment opportunity and also a chance to network with some local educationalists and schools, hopefully to form some lasting partnerships.

Mrs Shearer is giving a presentation to an invited audience later today on the critical importance of strong pastoral care in schools.

Operating on only three hours sleep, it’s also good to see that she managed to get our stand looking sharp by 9 am this morning.

As you can see the St Edmund’s school mascot (accompanying her on tour) has the right idea – reclining by the pool!

London Marathon

Three St Edmund’s Staff members are tackling the London Marathon this weekend.  Our Assistant Head, Leigh Millard, Head of Sport Helena Millard and our Bursar Nick Scott-Kilvert are all taking on the ultimate sporting challenge. They have all trained exceptionally hard and I wish them every success.