Welcome Letter – Spring 2019

11th January 2019

Dear Parents, Pupils and Friends of Stover School,

A Happy New Year to you all; I hope the festive season was enjoyable and that all New Year’s resolutions are now in full swing and being stringently adhered to. As always the Autumn Term concluded with a wonderful Carol Service at Exeter Cathedral. A belated thank you to all parents, grandparents and friends who supported the event and particular mention to our pupils, who performed and read with great maturity and poise. Two days later 30 pupils, supported by four staff, headed out to the French Alps for a fantastic week of skiing. The snow conditions were excellent and the group behaved impeccably, resulting in a tremendous week in which all pupils improved their technique considerably.

At the end of the last term, I received notification that the school had been recognised by the iExcellence initiative for the work we have done in progressing and promoting Research Based Learning and its consequent impact on both pupil outcomes and school roll. We are one of 25 independent schools across the country to receive the i25 accolade. Please explore further by googling i25. Well done to all staff and pupils for embracing the RBL initiative and making the difference.

Now we turn our thoughts to the coming term. It begins with trial examinations for our Year 11 and 13 groups. The pupils have spent the break preparing themselves for the trial papers and over the next fortnight will be able to gauge their current level of progress and therefore, how much they need to improve before the real examinations in the Summer Term. We wish all pupils the best of luck and would encourage them to access all the help that their teachers are offering both before the trial papers and, crucially, in learning from the process afterwards.

Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 Senior School scholarship examinations for September 2019 entry take place on the 24th, 25th and 26th January. If this might be of interest to you, please contact Mrs Schramm, the Registrar, for more detail.

Monday 25th February sees the school hosting an e-safety specialist for our annual E-Safety Day. This offers all pupils and parents the opportunity to receive the latest advice about the dangers and best practice with regard to the use of the world wide web and social media. As always, I encourage as many parents as possible to attend the workshops. As numbers have been disappointing in the last 3 years, we are trying a different approach this year, by inviting parents to join one of the pupil sessions.

Our Whole School Open Morning takes place on Saturday 2nd March. We hope to attract a good number of visitors to this “open house” occasion. Please do encourage friends and family to come and take a guided tour of the school hosted by our pupils. It is particularly important for interested parties to register their interest as the number of places available is limited in several year groups.

Phyllis Dence Day takes place on Friday 8th March. All the Senior School pupils will be involved in music activities for two days, culminating in the house music competition. Please do come along to support your children and enjoy the final performances on Friday afternoon; at the moment it looks like an 8 piece Ska band might well provide the theme for the two days of preparation, so dust off your trilbies!

Friday 22nd March sees the Preparatory School perform their annual production, which this year is Robin Hood. All are welcome to support what is always a lovely evening of song, dance and stage-craft.

Aside from the above, the term is interspersed with a number of parents’ evenings, including the options evening in which Year 9 pupils begin to select their GCSE subjects. Please check the calendar with regard to these dates and we look forward to seeing you there to discuss your son or daughter’s progress.

The term is also filled with outdoor pursuits residential trips and social evenings, Ten Tors training and the usual host of sporting fixtures and other events. The Spring Term calendar is available on the school website for further details. Can I take this opportunity to encourage you to get involved in supporting as many of the school’s events as possible.

This term sees Mr Appleby take the role of Acting Head of Preparatory School, ably assisted by his leadership team of Mrs Harrison, Mrs Fallshaw, Mr Walsh and Mrs Wilson. Mrs Gale also joins the team as a Year 6 teacher in order to allow Mr Appleby the time required to manage the school. The other changes to staffing are in light of Mr Baillie’s retirement. Ms Robinson takes up the position of Head of the Sixth Form, with Mrs Stone filling her role as Deputy Head of the Sixth Form. Finally, Mr Wray joins the science team to take on Mr Baillie’s teaching commitments. I am confident all will do an excellent job in providing the very best for your children.

From the perspective of the Stover Estate, the Christmas holiday saw the resurfacing of the Preparatory School tennis courts. This work was much overdue and the new surface is both safe and will provide the professional surface required for the pupils to improve their sporting skills.

During the half term break our High-5 club will be running for all pupils and families who would like to take advantage of the childcare and ensure their children have a great time along the way. If interested please contact HIGH 5 on 01752 215734.

The term will see The Friends of Stover continuing their excellent work. As always they will be keen to welcome you to the fold. Please register your interest with the school office, or better still, if you are able to attend, at one of our school coffee morning events.

I will conclude by thanking you for continuing to support the school and remind you that ready communication is essential if any wrinkles are to be smoothed quickly and effectively. Please do get in touch with your Form Tutor or Class Teacher if necessary. It will be a busy term in which academic progress is evident and personal challenge and growth are fuelled. I have challenged all of the pupils to reflect on the autumn and set personal targets as a result. We will do our utmost to support your children in achieving these goals.

Kind regards,

Richard Notman

Executive Head Teacher

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