“Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.” Henry VI Part III, William Shakespeare

I’m not sure if you had noticed but we are coming to the end of the school year. A time of treats and trips. It has been an absolute pleasure to see so many Junior School visitors to the Senior School this week and I know that the pupils from the Senior School have enjoyed the opportunity to sit their exams in the Junior School’s air conditioned hall. We are fortunate to be an “all-through school” as this give us opportunities that would otherwise be lost. When I reflect upon this academic year it will be as one which has had many silver linings. Over the course of the year we have faced our fair share of challenges. The Senior School pupils have not had their sports hall and as a consequence our major performance space was lost as was our assembly area. The Junior School lost the use of the green pitch as a consequence of the Seine flooding and welcomed Senior School pupils to the hall for their exams. Vital sports play space has been compromised and teaching facilities modified.

JSC rounders for front pageAs a consequence of these challenges we have become more flexible in our approach. We have used the local ‘stade’ more often, we have shared our Senior School and Junior School facilities and teachers have modified their approach to lessons to ensure that our learning has not been stymied. Along the way we have learned one or two things. These are the silver linings to the storm clouds. We broadcast Senior School assemblies and we will continue to do so. This proved popular with our tutors who could review what was said later in the week and the recordings are a useful learning tool. Our exam candidates have had the benefit of an air conditioned hall. Our Junior School sports players have been seen more often at the Senior School and IT facilities have been shared. Our teachers have been brilliant and creative in their approach to working with the facilities that we have had at our disposal.

I’m not sure that I would choose to have another year like this one. I know that our PE teachers probably would not (given how wet our year has been) but there are positives that we will take from our experiences this year. Expect to see more movement between the campuses and don’t be surprised if Junior School pupils are to be found learning on the Senior site and vice versa in the autumn term. Next year will see the opening of a new green pitch at the Junior School. We will inaugurate a new multi-purpose hall towards the end of the half term at the Senior School and students learning in the Braille building on the Senior site will be doing so in air conditioned classrooms from September. There is much to look forward to and there is even more that we can feel proud about having achieved. One of our school values is endeavour. There can be little doubt that this year has seen it by the bucket load.

I look forward to joining with you in our end of term celebrations over the coming days.

Nicholas Hammond

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