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Headmaster’s Blog

Happy New Year! This week’s blog takes the form of a start-of-term mailing, and I hope that what follows will be useful to all ECS families in helping them navigate the term ahead.

The Christmas holiday

I hope that you were all able to enjoy the Christmas break. My particular thanks go to Mr Fitzpatrick, Miss Rhodes and Mr Baurance who worked with enormous good humour from the morning of the 22nd to the evening of the 25th to ensure supervision and activities for the Choristers. Huge thanks, too – of course – to the Choristers themselves for a magical set of Christmas services (a report will follow soon from Mr Fitzpatrick) and to our Chorister families for re-jigging their own Christmases and for their support of both School and Cathedral.

Start of term

The ECS staff team gathered back together on Monday 7th for a day of meetings and training. We were pleased to welcome representatives from Babcock to host a session on ‘delivering literacy across the curriculum’, focussing in particular on our school-wide spelling strategy. Staff received the usual updates on the latest safeguarding legislation and fire training, as well as updates to School policies and the Staff Handbook. Our pastoral teams met to discuss pupils’ individual needs and development, and our Heads of Department met to discuss schemes of learning and supporting pupils of all abilities inside the classroom.

It was a great pleasure to see the boarders arrive back on Monday evening and to welcome the whole school on Tuesday morning. Excitement was high after the Christmas holiday, and there was a real buzz in the air about the start of the new term and all of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Blue Diary

The School calendar (blue diary) was sent out to all ECS families at the end of last term. It contains all of the information you need to help you plan for the term. Where additional events are added (for example, where last-minute opportunities come along) we will always write to you in plenty of time and update the website calendar. If you’d like a new copy of the blue diary, please ask at reception (Hall House or Chantry).

Fixtures, concerts, productions and services

It is always a great pleasure to see parents/guardians on the touchline, in the audience, or in the congregation: you are warmly encouraged to attend these School events, details of which can be found in the blue diary.

Headmaster’s Open Study: Mondays at 8am

You are all most welcome to drop into my study in the Chantry at 8am every Monday during term time. There is no agenda nor need to sign up; just an opportunity to drop in for a coffee and a catch up with me and to chat through any questions/queries you may have. These sessions are open to all.

Of course, you are also welcome to book in with Miss Pearce (k.pearce@exetercs.org) for a formal appointment about any matter relating to ECS: it is always a pleasure to welcome parents/guardians into School.

Headmaster’s Morning Worship

Following HM’s Open Study, each Monday morning the Prep School meets in the Cathedral Quire for Headmaster’s Morning Worship. As part of this I am pleased to give out House Point Certificates (Gold and beyond!), Headmaster’s Commendations and other awards, medals, certificates. You are warmly invited to join us: meet in the Cathedral at 8.45am and my team of Prefects will show you to a seat.  Many thanks for arriving in silence – the 8am Eucharist may still be going on at that time.

Drop-off each day

A gentle reminder that drop-off times are as follows:

Prep School (playground): from 8 am

Nursery and Pre-Prep (playground and classrooms): from 8.30 am

Thank you for not arriving earlier than these times: this ensures appropriate supervision of the children (and is compliant with the School’s supervision policy) and is a kindness to the resident members of staff.  If you do wish to arrive earlier than this, please book into Chantry Breakfast Club (opens at 7.30 am).

Thank you for your forbearance with the particular joys of city-centre parking, and for avoiding parking in the School’s minibus spots.

Staff news

We are pleased to welcome two new Gap Tutors this term: Miss Wurst and Mr Egarr join us from Adelaide, and will work alongside Miss Tyler to form the Gap triumvirate.

Miss Michael (Pre-Prep TA) has informed us of her decision to resign her post with immediate effect on the grounds of ill health. Reception parents/guardians will by now have received a more detailed letter from Mrs Bowles. We wish Miss Michael a speedy recovery and look forward to sharing with you news of her permanent replacement soon.

As New Uniform Shop

The As New Uniform Shop (housed in Hall House) will be open from 3pm until 4pm on the first Thursday of every month. There’s no need to book an appointment, though you are welcome to contact AsNew_Uniform@exetercs.org if you’d like to.

Headmaster’s Coffee

I am pleased to draw your attention to these Headmaster’s Coffee slots in the blue diary. Please keep an eye out for your class’s date and for the invitation which will make its way to you the week before.

Installation of Choristers

Congratulations and good luck to our Probationary Choristers – Ellena C, Lilla KN, Summer C, Phoebe G, Rosalila G, Jazmin KN, Gen SJ, George H, Edward K, Ben T and Isaac W – who will be ‘installed’ as Choristers (and presented with their surplices) at Evensong this Sunday. Each of them has worked hard to complete the Probationers’ training programme, and we can look forward to a write-up of this special event in next week’s Newsletter.

Stay in radio

Questions? Uncertainties? News from home? Your child’s class teacher/form tutor is usually the first port of call, and the Heads of Section and my senior team are also standing by to offer any help and support that we can.

I’m really looking forward to an action-packed Lent term, and I hope to catch up with each of you before long. Have a great term, everyone.

11 January 2019
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