As we say goodbye to our 'Indian Summer' and we welcome the month of October, it seems pertinent to think about what this lovely weather has given us.
We often hear people talk about their preferences for the seasons. I personally have loved September – it has been a beautiful month. The weather has enabled our students to enjoy being outside – whether in a PE lesson on our brand new 3G pitch or netball courts, or just being able to soak up a little sun across the school site on lawns, benches and our new Plaza. I have thoroughly enjoyed walking around the site seeing our students chat amongst themselves and genuinely being sociable. I really like to catch up with their day and to stop and chat with the girls is a joy!
It never ceases to amaze me what lovely students we have. Their friendships are clearly visible and such an important part of school life. I am sure you will agree with me that friendship is something to be treasured. Rather than listing our exam grades, we would want people to refer to our deeper, more fundamental qualities: our relationships/friendships, the love and care that we have shown to others, along with characteristics of courage, empathy and selflessness - not to impress, but because they are right.
This week, we have had students who have shown exactly those qualities through raising £1164 for our RAG charities with such spirit and verve. We also saw evidence of this throughout our Year 7 Welcome Evening, where students were confidently introducing their new friends and teachers to their parents. It was truly a lovely evening.
Interestingly, to me (and, more importantly, to employers and university admissions tutors) is the fact that these examples demonstrate that students are engaged, outward-looking individuals whose focus goes way beyond exam results. Those skills are at least as important, in my view, as the many A* grades our students have between them. I am not saying that exams are not important, but what I do concur is that friendship, care and empathy are the vital foundations of adulthood.
We will continue at Invicta to work hard to ensure our girls achieve their potential in public exams, but we will work equally hard to foster the passions and interests of our students in far wider spheres than the exam specifications – friendship and fun being part of this. As Kevin Stannard says, ‘education should be about providing the resources for a life lived well.’ I shall look forward to continuing to facilitate the ‘fun’ and ‘friendship’ of school life and finding out what the girls have been up to throughout their day! This week, I am sure, will provide yet more opportunities for us to see this around the school. We have our Open Evening which is always a great way to see relationships at work.