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We do not underestimate the importance of ‘knowing’ our students. Indeed, we acknowledge that the quality of relationships underpins student progress in all settings – pastoral, academic and co-curricular. As I move around the School, I see a strong investment from staff and students in building relationships. It is a good sign that our sons (mine in Years 9 and 12) are in safe hands.

As we are all aware, adolescent boys rarely elaborate and can often give us very little in terms of insight into who and how they are. It takes deliberate effort and care to find a way in to get to know them. A shared interest, in and out of the classroom, never fails to accelerate this. In my role, I am also learning how helpful meetings and conversations with parents are, not just in fostering the important home-school partnership, but in actually getting to know the student better. It seems we are a lot keener to talk about our children than they are to talk about themselves!

I enjoyed meeting a number of you on Saturday morning at the Year 7 Rowing ‘capsize’ drill and the Year 8 Tennis trials. It was also great to re-connect on Monday evening with the representative parent body, the Senior School Friends of Saints, for our first meeting of the year. I look forward to meeting more of you at the Cocktail Evening on 19 February, less for the cocktails and more for the conversations to get to know your sons better!

Do you feel that we know your son? If you feel we could know more, please reach out to your son’s Mentor, and either their Year Level Coordinator (Years 7 and 8) or Head of House (Years 9 to 12), or to myself.

Marcus Blackburn
Deputy Headmaster / Head of Senior School