Week 11 – What a term!
Thursday 8 December 2016
As this festive season begins and our autumn term draws to a close, I reflect on the wonderful experiences we have shared and the achievements of all.
I am not sure what I really expected when I arrived on a very warm and sunny day in August. If I am honest, there were a few nerves but also much anticipation and excitement as to what the term would bring. My first thoughts were of getting to know the school community, the girls, the staff, the parents and the Governors. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting as many of you as I possibly can, at events, concerts and plays, at sporting fixtures and House dinners. I am still bowled over by the warmth that is shared amongst the school community and when I speak with prospective parents it is these qualities that are foremost in my mind. I have often remarked throughout my teaching career that “happy girls are successful girls”, but never has it been as evident as it is here at Q.
Highlights of the term have of course centred around the many activities and achievements of the girls – the Music tour to Liguria, successes in major intellectual competitions such as ESU Debating and the UK Maths Trust Senior Team Competition, Spanish and Hockey trips to Spain, the Drama Scholars’ production of DNA and the Upper School’s A Christmas Carol, outstanding results in Hockey, Badminton, Netball, Football and Tennis, and many, many more. But I must also add that a personal highlight for me has been the simple interactions round school as I drop in and out of classrooms, greet girls and staff on the way into Chapel and speak with parents and girls at drop off in the school car park (although this has got a bit chilly more recently!)
We do of course try to recognise as many individuals as possible on our website, on our main and departmental Twitter and Instagram feeds, and in our weekly chapels. I am also looking forward to our final assembly when I will be able to congratulate many of the girls who have achieved awards and badges this term.
Year 7 and all our new girls and staff seem to have settled into life at Q. It was wonderful to meet so many of the new parents and to hear about the friendships their daughters are making and how happy they are. At the other end of the school the Upper Sixth are now receiving their university offers and invitations to interview are coming thick and fast. With a record number of Oxbridge interviews this year – over 20% of the Upper Sixth – I wish all our girls the best of luck over the coming months.
I have also enjoyed meeting many members of our extensive Old Queenswoodian Association. Our networking event at Accenture HQ in October was a fantastic opportunity for our Sixth Form – and me – to speak to former pupils as they embark on exciting careers in a wide range of professions, including law, medicine, the civil service, banking, management consultancy, property, fashion and fundraising. Further afield, we have received news of a recent OQ working on David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II, while others are making their mark as actresses, novelists, theatre producers and entrepreneurs.
As we look to Christmas and a rest over the holiday, I hope that you are all able to enjoy some quality family time together. Christmas is a very special time for families, and I know that I am very much looking forward to some time with my boys over the next couple of weeks.
With very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year