Prep Head's Blog: Venture Out

Dear Felsted Families,

I began thinking about this newsletter as I journeyed to Liverpool to join nearly 400 Headteachers for our annual IAPS Conference. The theme of this year’s conference, ‘Venture Out’ sought to inspire and challenge Prep School leaders from all over the country.

I am proud to say that I was born in Liverpool and I was incredibly excited to return after an absence of many many years. New growth and investment alongside historical gothic buildings and a huge variety of tributes to popular culture made this short visit all the more wonderful.

The last evening of each conference gives Heads the opportunity to attend a formal dinner and the Cathedral was this year's spectacular location for the collective Heads to gather together. The Dean opened the meal with a prayer, and also told us about a young man called Giles Gilbert Scott who, at the age of 22, won an open design competition in 1903 to build this iconic structure: the largest Cathedral in Britain.

This young man did not lack confidence and refused to be intimidated by what must have been an incredible job interview at the time! Building Liverpool Cathedral became his life’s work and his story is a fascinating one of inspiration, determination and innovation. 

This week, our children at the Prep School have been exploring ways to strengthen their mental health. They will be hopefully talking about ways in which they can build resilience, how fresh air, good nutrition, mindfulness, kindness, being grateful and a whole host of reflective habits can all work together to help support a healthy mind and outlook. 

I can’t help but ponder on the strategies that Giles Gilbert Scott employed during the long years he had ahead of him as he committed his life’s work to such a monumental feat.

I remain fully aware of the speed at which the lives of our children have changed and will continue to change; particularly with the explosion of AI possibilities and the world of social media providing both challenge and opportunity. However, I am equally committed to holding onto the inspirational stories that can serve to inspire our children to ‘Venture Out’ and thank you for allowing me to share one such example with you this week. 

Yes, I will be creating an assembly around this and for those who are wondering, I did indulge in a short visit to the Beatles monument too!

With warm wishes for the Exeat weekend,

Miranda Norris