Headmaster’s Blog 25.06.21

28th June 21

I don’t know what you think about golf.  Sadly, I don’t think Mark Twain actually did describe a round as ‘a good walk spoiled’ even though it is a great line and it sounds like the sort of thing he would have said.  I played a bit on a social basis in a former life and to me it was more a reminder of the fact that even in the most charmingly bucolic surroundings there could lurk a threat to one’s patient sanity and pride.  Perhaps it’s a kind of pastime designed to remind us of the fact that et in arcadia ego? Inevitably, after a spot of localised excavation, I would shy the ball into a dense thicket of couch grass from whose close embrace the ball would only emerge after several air shots.  My score card would frequently resemble an eighteen number lottery ticket.

Imagine then my delight on hearing that the Wetherby Senior golf team had won second place on Monday at the Independent Schools Association championship at Worksop College in Nottinghamshire?  A fantastic effort from our team of Jamie M, Oscar C, Santiago E (all in Year 11) and Killian M (in Year 12).  Oscar won the individual silver medal and well done to Killian for stepping in at the last moment.

Good news also came through about the results of the recent British Biology Olympiad entered by boys in Year 12. The BBO is a national post-16 competition that consists of two, 45-minute multiple choice papers taken online under supervised exam conditions. The papers test topics and ideas with which the boys are unfamiliar and are not on their A Level specifications.  They have to compete in the Olympiad with their problem solving skills and understanding of core principles. Congratulations to Sebastian on being awarded a gold medal and to the other Year 12 boys for their silver and bronze medals.


Headmaster’s Blog 18.06.21

21st June 21

One of the things that I am very much looking forward to about next term is the opportunity for year groups to reintegrate into the School community at large.  This is incredibly important in any educational setting but nowhere more so than in a senior school where the maturing effect of seeing (in the case of WSS) older boys at work, in clubs and in positions of leadership helps to shape the attitudes and aspirations of younger boys.  If you cast your mind back to your own experience of being at school – and I am aware that one of the great strengths of the Wetherby Senior community is the rich diversity of backgrounds and experiences – there will be moments that come to mind when you were profoundly impressed by the words or actions of older pupils.  It may be that you recognised at the time that they were role models or it may be that you unconsciously adopted their ways as you become one of the older pupils yourself but their positive influence was there.

The Tribs are a great way of harnessing this potential as they connect boys from different year groups within the School.  They lend an additional focus for belonging, for promoting healthy competition and collective endeavour.  Tribs, named after tributaries of the Thames, are more than just a convenient set plucked from the imagination.  They have a greater symbolic power, as names often do.  They are hidden rivers – unseen and yet power streams that flow independently into the larger whole of the Thames.  They are distinct but collectively join a mighty river.  Smart new Trib boards will soon appear in Hannah House hall, there are Trib prizes at the end of term and, very exciting indeed, there are brand new Trib lapel badges to designs created by none other than our own Ms Bradley.  A highlight of the end of term will be the Trib charity fair for the boys which is a great opportunity for Killian, Himat, Nick, Josh, Jacques and, of course, Henry, to lead the younger boys in what promises to be an afternoon of fun and charity fundraising.


Headmaster’s Blog 11.06.21

14th June 21

I come from a very musical family and grew up in a house where music making was the norm and, it is fair to say, not always quite as harmonious as it might have been.  Cellos, pianos and the treble and bass parts of a huge repertoire of choral music rang through the place, augmented by the diligent and remorseless viola playing of our German student houseguest, Wolfram.  Presiding over everything in spirit, if not always in person, was my maternal grandfather.  I remember the portrait photograph of him in his finery of starched linen surplice and high, ecclesiastical ruff, eyeballing the young me – a rather reluctant pianist – with all the slightly haughty distain of a head chorister (as he was at Lincoln Cathedral directly after the First World War) to the naughtiest and most recalcitrant probationer.  I always knew that I was the least talented of the lot, in truth, but I have always enjoyed music making and I have cherished the gift of appreciating the talent of others.

One of the great things about Wetherby is that we have a really diverse and enthusiastic group of musicians amongst our pupils and we have a very talented and dedicated department of professionals to teach them and to help them nurture their love of music.  Performance is an integral part of the process of learning a musical instrument and I was delighted to hear the impressive range of performances submitted for the Trib music competition.  All in all a fun feast of music and well done to all.

We have more wonderful performances to look forward to as the music department prepares for its next concert – Live Lounge, which showcases a wide variety of contemporary music. It will premiere on Wednesday 23rd June at 6.00pm.

The incoming Prefect Team have begun their duties around school with great enthusiasm and have been a visible presence as they greet pupils each morning at Hannah House. They are wonderful role models for the younger boys with their sense of good humour while taking their responsibilities seriously.

We welcomed a number of guest speakers to the School this week. IE Madrid university admissions officers came into school earlier today to talk to Year 12 pupils about their degree options which include excellent provision in Business/Economics and Law. We also welcomed one of our parents, Maria Como, on Tuesday. Maria spoke to Year 12 about presentation and communication skills in relation to their EPQ presentations which are taking place later this month. We received very positive feedback from the talk, with the boys saying this was one of the most useful talks they’ve had. We are grateful to Maria for generously giving us so much of her time.

Finally some great news from the drama department. Out of 39 boys who recently completed LAMDA exams, 31 passed with Distinction and 8 with Merit. Well done to all.


Barometer Half Term 1

I come from a very musical family and grew up...

Headmaster's Blog 08.10.2...

I don’t know what you think about golf.  Sadly, I...

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