Sunday 10th September
These past few days have been long awaited. After all the planning, the preparatory inspection and refurbishment work, we have become once again a school with a sixth form. Not only that, but one welcoming full-time boarders from both the UK and across the globe.
New boarders arrived on Monday for orientation and team-building, and were joined by existing boarders the following day. On Wednesday we welcomed back all the pupils and held a whole school assembly. The new staff and pupil leaders were introduced and we spent some time thinking about what we could each achieve this year.
The previous Year 11s were an inspiration with their hard work and engagement with the Stoke ethos. They were good at helping each other, as well as working with staff and they succeeded together. The message of the growth mind set was not lost on the pupils and students and the parable of the talents was clearly understood. As Tommy rightly said in the assembly, it is about making the very best with the talents you have and not being afraid to use them.
Taking intellectual risks and not being afraid to suggest ideas even if they might be wrong, is hugely important. We are so fortunate that our pupils are keen to support each other. Ideas are not mocked if they aren’t quite right but praised for effort and imagination.
It was a good start to the term and the pupils left to meet their new tutors and to receive their timetables. Tutors at Stoke are very much there to help their tutees, whether they are having any pastoral or academic concerns, and parents should feel free to contact them.
Our new sixth formers had an interesting week too. After a number of induction meetings, and first lessons in each of their A levels, they had an welcome meal at the Cock Inn, Clare on Thursday night with their new teachers and then Mr Stuart, Head of Sixth Form, took them to Cambridge for the day on Friday. They were hugely fortunate to be able to visit the Wren Library at Trinity College and meet one of the admissions tutors too. The Wren Library was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, most famous as the architect of St Paul’s Cathedral, London and whose staircase, from his London home, is now in use in the Main House at Stoke College.
This weekend has seen the boarders have a day out in Bury, buying any last minute items of equipment and clothing for the term and spending some time getting to know each other while they had fun bowling.
Next week will be the first full week of lessons (week B), evening activities will begin and the homework timetable will be published. We will be very much back to the natural rhythm of school life.
Finally, a reminder that the AGM of our Parent Teacher Association is on Wednesday evening at 7 pm. New members are very welcome and it provides an excellent way for families new to the school to get to know everyone better. I hope to see lots of new faces there!