Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam.
October – Month of the Holy Rosary.
This week’s featured image is the famous Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. October is the Month of the Holy Rosary, and Pope Francis has particularly encouraged use of the Rosary prayers this month, for the protection of the Church and her children from evil. Our Lady of Czestochowa is of course particularly honoured by the Polish, so posting the image here also acknowledges the great contribution of our Polish families and friends to the Catholic community in our area, and to our school. Pozdrawiamy!
“Help of the half-defeated, House of gold,
Shrine of the Sword, and Tower of Ivory;
Splendour apart, supreme and aureoled,
The Battler’s vision and the World’s reply.
You shall restore me, O my last Ally,
To vengence and the glories of the bold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
And this is that in which I mean to die.”
(From the Ballade to Our Lady of Czestochowa by Hilaire Belloc.)
I had the pleasure of visiting a sixth form poetry lesson given by our Head of English, Mr Kenrick, this week. I only intended to pop into the lesson, but ended up staying, so gripping was both the text being studied and also the quality of discussion in the lesson. These young people are fortunate to have such a high quality of education, which is a credit both to their teacher and to each other. Even though our education system may be largely driven by grades and data, there is still the opportunity for the inspirational and imaginative teaching, which is what I saw.
Our Governors met this week for a Full Board Meeting. School governors are the largest volunteer force in the land, they work hard, usually after a long day of full time work, take on huge responsibilities in return for a cup of tea and a cake, and often are more blamed than praised. Our Governors are no exception – they are working hard to ensure that our students and teachers have the support they need to excel.
Years 7-9 took CAT tests this week: Cognitive Aptitude Tests. These tests provide useful baseline data that enables our powerful spreadsheets and data experts to track progress and ensure that all students and groups of students are where they should be. Seeing them all in the assembly hall at exam desks reminded me briefly of the balmy days of June, when the public exams were in full force. That seems an age ago – in schools, events move on so quickly that “a week is a long time in education.”
Our U16 and U14 netball teams played in the first round of the national netball competition this week, hosted by Dauntsey’s. The top two teams qualified for the next round of the competition – in both competitions our teams came third! So although disappointed we didn’t progress to the next round, our teams played some excellent netball and were only beaten by the eventual qualifiers, Marlborough College and Dauntsey’s.
Our Rugby match on site on Thursday against St Laurence School was abandoned at half-time, owing to the hardness of the ground and to avoid risk of injury. Disappointing, but better safe than sorry. Our Rugby players are praying for rain before next week’s planned fixtures, though I’m personally not convinced. Good luck to our teams, anyhow.
Did you know that we have a ‘word of the week’ which is disseminated through the staff bulletin? This week’s word has been ‘fastidious’, which means paying close attention to accuracy, detail, and correctness. A good habit to cultivate in any field.