The main GCSE examinations are fast approaching and Year 11 will go on study leave this Thursday. However, this didn’t stop them showing their strong support for the school on Saturday, giving up some of their precious time to be guides for our Open Morning.

We are very grateful to them and to all the pupils who came in to help (as well as to parents for driving them in too). We had an extremely busy day. Between 150 and 200 visitors were welcomed to the College, many of them discovering for the first time just what a wonderful place our school is.

They saw pupils and staff working together and were able to see for themselves the strong, supportive relationships which are the bedrock of our approach to education. They also saw the College buildings and grounds looking beautiful as the clouds cleared and the sun came out.

We are looking forward to seeing many new children joining us in September and in the 2018. We will be laying on a new bus route to help many of them travel to us from the Saffron Walden area and, if required, a second new bus to travel further south. These will complement our existing routes from Newmarket and Cambridge, Colchester and Sudbury, and Dunmow and Braintree.

It was a busy week last week for visitors too. It is always a pleasure to meet new parents and have the opportunity to show them around the school. Seeing the pupils and students at work and at play gives prospective parents a very strong sense of the ethos of the school, not just from what they see, but what they feel as they encounter the different classes and talk to the staff as they walk round.

It will be a busy week again, next week, and I know I speak for all the staff when I say how delighted we are that more and more people are discovering the unique experience of an education at Stoke.