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Head’s blog

Exciting Times

Looking back over the past 18 months it is clear that we have certainly not stood still. As outlined in my Foundation Day speech in 2020, we have maintained a focus on three key priorities; academic standards, buildings and community.

Our academic successes both in public examinations and in the destination of our leavers is only part of the picture, alongside that goes the launch of our super-curriculum which encourages pupils to think and learn beyond the boundaries of the syllabus, fostering intellectual curiosity and building independence of mind. These are the skills which universities and employers are increasingly seeking.

Our Guest of Honour at this year’s Foundation Day, Evelyn Forde MBE, praised school-age pupils for their resilience, sense of responsibility and understanding of the importance of relationships. These themes
were echoed in the vote of thanks by our three Senior Monitors, who spoke warmly of our strong partnership with Copthall School, of which Ms Forde is Head. We have many exciting collaborative initiatives planned with this local partner school, amongst others, as well as developing our links with St Bees in Cumbria and our ongoing connection with our international partnerships in Tamil Nadu and Zambia. The importance of community, both within our School and beyond, has never been greater.

My ‘ABC’ mantra of academics, buildings and community neatly chimes with our long-established A Better Chance bursary scheme, through which we are actively promoting transformational
opportunities for Fourth Form and Sixth Form entry.

With our recent return to school, we are also focusing on re establishing the House system, after 18 months in year group bubbles. Pupils are once again mixing in their House families, benefitting immeasurably from the vertical pastoral structure and the opportunities it offers for personal growth and development, and rekindling that healthy rivalry between Houses in the form of the inter-House competitions.

This year marks the centenary of Sir John David McClure’s death, and we look forward to commemorating one of Mill Hill’s greatest Headmasters. McClure’s legacy can be seen all around us in the shape of the numerous buildings he commissioned during his tenure, including the Music School, the Chapel, the Winterstoke Library and the Gate of Honour; all have stood the test of time. To mark McClure’s legacy what better tribute than for me to support the most ambitious
building programme seen at Mill Hill since the Favell Building was opened Winfield in 2007, in his final year as Headmaster. Much refurbishment having been undertaken in recent months, the best
is yet to come in the shape of major building projects currently under consideration by the Governors and the Foundation Executives.

My commitment to the continued development of our buildings and facilities, for the benefit not only of our current pupils but for generations to come, will be unwavering; as will my continued focus on our pupils’ academic development and our many community initiatives. These are indeed, exciting times.