Senior Head's Blog: A busy week

As we head into December, and the final couple of weeks of the term, we remain determined to go ahead with key events, such as House Christmas Dinners, Carol Services, Concerts, Nativities and Plays.  In order to be able to do this of course we still need to ask everyone to be careful, to ensure that you do not come into school if symptomatic, and continue to take regular lateral flow tests.  

I thought that it would be good to reflect on a few highlights of recent days this week.  First of all, last night our IB students, studying Italian, staged a brilliant version of Antigone, delivering lines in Italian, English and French, and moving between languages with confidence.  I suspect that, like me, not all of the audience understood every word, but the emotion and drama was conveyed with great passion, and to put this together at such a busy time of the year speaks volumes for the students, and of course Miss Trucco, who made it all happen.

Second, earlier this week, I popped out to watch a few minutes of the 1st XI hockey cup match against Pangbourne.  Finding the girls trailing 3-0 when I arrived, it did not seem as though there was about to be an exciting finish.  However, drawing on the spirit of Istanbul 2005 (Liverpool in the Champions League), the team rallied with a goal just before half time.  They then defended a series of penalty corners, before breaking away to get another.  Finally as the pressure was building, a third goal came to bring us back level, and to take the game into a penalty shootout.  With one brilliant save from Annie Wade-Jones, a little bit of luck, and cool heads, we managed to win the shootout 4-3, and so it is Felsted who will move on to the quarter final.  

Third (and perhaps not obviously the most exciting moment of the week!) was when I invigilated a Year 11 GCSE Mock exam.  It is important to remember the context for these students, who have gone through two disrupted years of education, and now face public exams this summer for the first time, but with the threat still there of exams not going ahead.  All pupils (well all bar one, and you know who you are!) were on time, smartly dressed, and behaved immaculately throughout the mock paper.  It is such an important reminder that, whatever level you hope to achieve, hard work is crucial to being able to do your best.  Not everyone will be pleased with their results in these exams, of course, but it is crucial that they all see where they might have done better, and use that knowledge to support their approach for the summer.

Next, I was delighted to see that we have got thirteen students 'going' for interviews for Oxford and Cambridge in the next fortnight.  These interviews will be delivered virtually again, which adds another layer of challenge, but I wish them all the very best for this process, as they compete across a wide range of subjects.  Many others have also got some impressive offers coming in already, although there remain a few who are still completing applications, and I would urge them to get these completed in the next few days if at all possible.

Finally, and although it was a very sad and emotional day, Friday of last week was a very important day for the Felsted Community, with the memorial service for Jasmine Kenny.  I was so proud of how the school pulled together to put on the best event possible, and to see so many of last year's leavers back at Felsted, to offer support to the family and friends was hugely touching.  In the last week of term, we will be running the Steeps under their new title, the Kenny Cup, in a format that Jasmine suggested herself and that the sports team has embraced, with an elite race, and a participation trophy as well.

I have no doubt that the coming days will bring more highlights as well, and I wish everyone the best, as we prepare for the final block fixtures of the term tomorrow.

Have a very good week,

Chris Townsend