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Sixth Form Taster Lessons

We welcomed 25 students and their parents for our Sixth Form Taster Lessons last Saturday - a fantastic way for them to experience Ampleforth education first-hand and help decide the right subjects. I look forward to seeing many of them join us in September.

Our netball girls continue to go from strength to strength with wins over Queen Mary's for the U16A, U15A, U14A and U13A teams last weekend, a clean sweep. On Wednesday, we hosted the annual U18 and U15 Invitational Rugby Sevens Tournament alongside an U18 Netball Tournament with more than 600 students, staff and spectators descending on the valley for a day of high-energy sport. The U18A boys reached the quarter final where they played really well beating Newcastle Grammar and Barnard Castle, but just lost out to Sedbergh, the eventual tournament winners, at the quarter-final stage. Well done to Will James, Hayley Edgar - and Colin Ball’s heroic ground staff with very wet pitches - for their hard work to make this great day for Ampleforth possible.  I thoroughly enjoyed joining the Squash team on Monday night for their awards dinner in The Windmill - the perfect way to end a very busy season for this thriving sport, as well as to show appreciation of our fantastic squash coach, Peter Watson.

Tuesday marked our second Lenten 'disconnect to reconnect' day, with pupils handing their phones in for the day and staff limiting email correspondence. We found opportunities to come together as a community in meaningful ways, whether that was in the staff common room where colleagues caught up in person, or in the boarding Houses where students enjoyed the time to strengthen their friendships.

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing from Professor Stephen Blackmore, His Majesty's Botanist. This, like Lord Deben’s lecture about Laudate Te last week, could not have been more relevant and inspiring (stewardship, conservation, bio-diversity, interventions to save endangered species of plant and tree, the importance of working on a global scale, and forcing politicians to give money and support to save our wonderful planet).

Our annual Higher Education Conference today saw more than 200 students from local schools and 70 delegates joining our Year 12 students and parents for a morning of stimulating and informative seminars before a Careers Fair in the afternoon. Thank you to Clare Tidmarsh for organising and ensuring the day ran seamlessly. While Year 12 have been finding out more about the various opportunities available to them when they leave the Valley, the rest of the school has been out and about enjoying career skills sessions and teamwork activities on communication and leadership.

Marie and I are looking forward to another busy weekend as we welcome families for the Year 12 Parents' Day and also celebrate 50 years of the Ampleforth Schola.  38 Old Amplefordians will be joining current Schola members and the Ampleforth & Ryedale Concert Choir to sing the magnificent Mozart's Requiem. It promises to be a really special evening.

All best wishes,


A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18