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The Head's Blog

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  • 16/09/20


    What springs to mind when you read the word ‘tribe’? Do you think about groups of people living in remote areas of the world who, by choice or by chance, have remained dislocated from much of the rest of human society? Or do you recognise that although that definition is one anthropologi...
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  • 02/09/20

    Disrupting or a Disruptor?

    At the start of every school year, I talk to our pupils on a topic that feels relevant to our community but that also has a wider resonance. This year my start of year assembly was a little different from normal. For a start, I was even more excited than usual to be welcoming pupils to the new acade...
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  • 18/06/20

    Black Lives Matter

    Last week, the Chaplain wrote in his chapel address in response to the Black Lives Matter movement that ‘his prayer over the last two weeks has been that we would all seek to treat each other with greater compassion and acknowledge our mistakes when we fail to do so’. This week, respondi...
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  • 20/05/20

    Living Life to the Full

    During this strange time, in which teachers and pupils are physically separated, I’ve been starting each week with an assembly delivered by video. It is just one of the ways that we’re creating virtual connections across our school community and, last week, I asked our pupils what they t...
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  • 07/05/20

    VE Day 75

    In recent weeks, I have found myself thinking about the shared occasions we usually enjoy within school and I already know that, when we are able to be together again, I am going to appreciate those seemingly simple occasions even more than normal. At St John’s on St George’s Day, under...
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  • 09/03/20


    Sunday 8 March, marked International Women’s Day and this year’s theme focuses on equality.  Equality is such an eminently fair and sensible concept that it seems odd that we still have to make this point in 2020: but we do. The scope of debate currently taking place about...
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  • 23/01/20

    Human Resolve

    As I mentioned in my last blog, I’m not a big believer in new year’s resolutions but I do want to give some thought to the more powerful concept of human resolve.  While a degree of human resolve is needed to stick to a new year resolution, resolve is actually a quality that we migh...
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  • 09/01/20

    New Year, New Connections

    The close of one year and the start of another often makes us reflect on what has been and what lies ahead, despite the fact that none of us really changes significantly as the minute-hand passes midnight and the new year begins. I have never been a fan of the hype around New Year’s Eve but I...
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  • 28/11/19

    The Power of Cognitive Diversity

    It is interesting how often we can gain insight into something of wider significance from things that happen in our daily life.  It occurred to me recently that there is a lot of debate (and I’ll stick with the word ‘debate’ rather than ‘argument’) in our house...
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  • 18/11/19

    More Than the Sum of Our Parts

    Since I became The Head at St John’s – over two years ago now – I have been giving a lot of thought to what it is that defines us.  What sort of community are we?  What does it mean to be part of St John’s as a young person who will learn and grow here, as a colleag...
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  • 04/09/19

    And We Have Lift-Off...

    During the summer holidays we’ve just enjoyed, it was the 50 year anniversary of the first moon landing. What a truly incredible feat. As the familiar old news footage of the moon landing was replayed across modern media outlets to mark the anniversary, I realised the extent to which we have g...
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  • 06/06/19

    Are You A Superhero?

    On the last bank holiday Monday, something quite surprising happened to me - I found myself close to tears while watching Avengers: End Game. This was not something I expected to happen!  I’m not a particular fan of the marvel characters, although some of the films have entertained me ove...
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