Head's Update for the week beginning 21st September 2020

Head's Update for the week beginning 21st September 2020

I was privileged to be asked to attend the Boarding Schools’ Association Conference Heads’ Panel,
last week. This event should have taken place in Edinburgh, but due to the current circumstances
was held virtually instead.

I was privileged to be asked to attend the Boarding Schools’ Association Conference Heads’ Panel,
last week. This event should have taken place in Edinburgh, but due to the current circumstances
was held virtually instead. The theme was Diversity, and the Heads involved were also asked to
talk about what was currently in their inbox. It was very interesting to listen to the other Heads’
views - the panel consisted of Mrs Joanna Wright (King Edward’s School, Witley), Mr Gavin Horgan
(Millfield) and Mr Mark Ronan (King’s Hospital, Ireland). It was a wonderful platform for our
School, and an extremely valuable experience as a new Head.
With regard to what is currently in my inbox, I confess to being somewhat bogged down in the day
to day management issues created by the Covid 19 crisis, but the comments of other members of
the panel did ring true with me. There are definite positive side effects to the current situation.
“What can they possibly be?” I hear you say....
1. Appreciation - we have been overwhelmed by your support, patience and consideration.
Importantly, we see this in school also. Our children have accepted the changes we have
needed to make with such good grace. They are cooperative, positive and happy, and I think
they just might appreciate school a little more than they did before....
2. Compassion - this is an integral part of our ethos at Mowden, and more than ever I feel we are
living to the values of our school.
3. Gratefulness - how lucky we are to have the grounds, space and freedom here. As a new Head
the collegiate approach of the entire sector is something I have never before witnessed. The
support network in place is inclusive, creative and helpful. I am incredibly grateful for the
support of all the staff at Mowden - it is quite a team. The power of everyone working together
for the same goal - the safety of our children - is very special.
4. And finally - adaptability. Schools can fall into the trap of ‘we have always done it this way, so
why change?’. Some of the changes we have needed to make are actually better - systems are
calmer, children more supported and procedures more effective. I am looking forward to
seeing what we choose to retain going forward.
I am also delighted to congratulate Miss Serbrock and her team for winning an award at the BSA
Conference. A large number of schools enter these awards, and we were absolutely thrilled to win
the category for the Most original activity during National Boarding Week Award.
I will sign off as I am looking forward to hosting Year 8 for an outdoor BBQ in the rain, this
evening (I am writing this on Wednesday). Having read this, you will not be surprised to hear that
not one child has complained of the prospect of eating soggy sausages in a bun with their new
Headteacher (not where I could hear them anyway!).
I hope you all have a super weekend - the transition of the seasons will pose new challenges, but
nothing we will not manage to deal with, together.

Mrs. Kate Martin, Head