Head's Welcome The Cheltonian 2022-23

Welcome from the Head

Mrs Nicola Huggett

‘What a wonderful view from here…’ said Dr Jamie Copeland-Jordan as he stood at the lectern to begin his Chapel service this week, surveying not just the 800 pupils and staff of College assembled before him, but also the windows, the architecture, the memorial plaques, the organ and the carving that make up the history that we can so easily become complacent about as we go about our busy everyday lives here. I reflected how many wonderful views I have as I go about my daily life as the Head, and as the sun poured through the stained glass of the Fortitude Window, and Wilson looked down with his wry smile, I knew it was going to be a good day.

It was indeed a good day, and it has been a very good term and year, now that we feel confident that the challenges of the last three years are behind us. We can look upwards and outwards towards the future as a community together, and despite the political and economic challenges that are looming large on the horizon, we are busy behind the scenes, finding ways to be flexible and dynamic as we will surely need to be, to prepare for whatever the future holds.

This year’s Upper Sixth, who joined College in the Third Form just as I also arrived to take up my post, have been a wonderful group to work with and to get to know. They have set a fantastic example to the younger pupils (and in fact to us all) in terms of academic determination, sporting commitment, musical and theatrical creativity and most importantly in the selfless humanity, leadership and service that they have contributed both to their school and to the charitable causes they have supported. We were delighted that through their efforts and those they encouraged in others, we raised just over £50,000 for good causes in just this past year. These efforts were not from a few, writing large cheques – they came from hundreds of small activities; bake sales and sponsorship, charity matches and cabaret evenings, the whole school Zumbathon and a huge number of other individual important group efforts along the way. As an example of this kind of self-motivation, just this week in fact, despite the fact that we are at the midway point in the rigour of public exams, a large number of pupils and staff supported and played in a charity concert organised by one of the Lower Sixth with a very personal connection to her chosen charity. That is something very special about this school – there is always a can-do attitude both from those who want to lead and those who follow. We are interchangeable in that way and as a result, things, very special things, are achieved.

So, as we look back on another wonderful collection of memories from the past year collated in The Cheltonian magazine, put together once again by the excellent editorial team, what are the lessons we have learned? We have learned that we value our wonderfully warm and supportive community, we have learned that we have the confidence to say ‘we can’, and we have delighted in the creativity of our responses to the challenges that we have faced, whilst preparing in a pragmatic way for what the future holds. The sun continues to shine through our windows and the view that we see from them continues to inspire.

Mrs Nicola Huggett