This has been a tremendously positive week.
29 September 2023
This has been a tremendously positive week. Many and influential visitors have come to the valley and left uplifted by the quality of the Ampleforth education, and buzzing with the vibrancy of all that is going on in our pupils’ lives. First up was our distinguished visitors from HMC (the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference) and AGBIS (the Governors association) who really enjoyed meeting staff and pupils, leaving very impressed. Secondly, Tom Beardmore Gray (T79), who is Chair of the Prep Schools Trust, and Warden (Chair of Governors) of Bradfield College, the first school where I was Head. Tom absolutely adored being back here and was hugely taken with the modern Ampleforth. Thirdly, William Austen, Head of Witham Hall School in Lincolnshire, an important feeder for us, came for a first visit and left as a strong advocate of Ampleforth’s unique contribution to education, correctly identifying that we are genuinely different, interesting, and special in what we aim to do with our pupils. Fourthly, we welcomed Alex Thomas, Head of one of our top London feeders, St Philip’s in Kensingston: we hosted 30 excitable Year 6 & 7 boys for a two-day residential trip. They loved the team-building activities, shooting, orienteering, devising and performing a play, and fun interactive science workshops and were full of joy at being able to run around in our beautiful valley - they were even excited to see sheep! Our Pipe Band has been performing today at Aysgarth school – a number are Old Aysgarthians including William Harrison-Topham (13J), our Pipe Major. Great, also, that Will James, our fantastic Head of Games, led a rugby coaching session at Aysgarth earlier this week. Ampleforth has been incredibly busy - and all of this was before the Ofsted visitors arrived!
Congratulations go to the U13 Girls Hockey team who have had a fantastic start to the season winning all of their 8 matches to date – we look forward to seeing their continued success. Marie and I are off to Scarborough tomorrow night for the OA golf club dinner, before they come and play the school on Sunday (expect a good beating OAs!).
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Year 13 Parents' Day tomorrow - an important moment when we get behind the studies and futures of this year group which is shaping up promisingly.