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A Force for Good – A Half Term Message

As we come to the end of this locked down half term, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for believing in Reigate St Mary’s and trusting us to educate your child/children. This might seem like a strange thing to say but this week I was reading an article from the former Director of Education and then the first CEO of the IAPS, David Hanson, causing me to reflect on quality education and good relationships with families, both of which I trust we enjoy at RSM.

In the article David comments on the fact that, despite the economic challenges that many face, parents instinctively understand the importance of education and consider the best private education to be the best investment they will ever make.  We believe this to be true and I hope that you do as well.

The Independent Association of Prep schools, (IAPS), is an association that we are proud to be a part of. Only the top prep schools are allowed into the association because it regards itself has an association of world-class schools.  In a statement of intent the association talks about being a ‘force for good’. When I talk to new Heads coming into the association, (an enjoyable annual responsibility), I always say that this has a twofold meaning. Firstly ‘for good’ means that it endures, in other words we are creating the foundations in the children’s lives which will stand him in good stead for the rest of their unique and special lives. ‘For good’ also means that we are wanting to instil values that mean our young people will become leaders and change makers who recognise the importance of good society, of generosity and equity, of giving back more than we take.   This is why education for social responsibility is something that I am pleased to lead on across the UK, within the IAPS.

In the article David Hanson says:

The curriculum is not something shaped by ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ politicians, but it is built from experience and knowledge. We know that academic success alone is not a sufficient condition for success in life. We instil in our pupils the core values of respect, service, compassion, discipline and hard work. We focus on their care, welfare, social and personal development. Importantly, we want them to appreciate that their excellent education is a privilege and with that privilege comes social responsibility.’

You can see why I align myself strongly with these sentiments.

Not only this but we believe in embracing the importance of progressive education, not harking back to some golden age but recognising the importance of adaptability in a changing world, of teamwork, creativity, digital learning, different mediums of communication and preparing children for future careers, rather than careers that may no longer exist when they leave university.  These are all important. This is what you are buying into at RSM and I hope that you have perhaps seen even greater evidence for this when you have had teachers ‘virtually’ in your front rooms.

I wish you all a restful half term

Marcus Culverwell

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