Let’s start this week’s post with a quiz question. Which Labour Party politician rose to cabinet rank having started his working life as a postman? I’m not sure how good he was at delivering letters and parcels way back, but I can testify that he is capable of delivering an interesting lecture. And doing so on time, too!

Unfortunately, I didn’t see the U11B cricket match against Hallfield this week, as I was listening to this interesting fellow at the Brighton College Educational Conference. A clue for you: the conference guest speaker was a former Home Secretary who served under both the Blair and Brown administrations. AJ discussed in depth the on going developments in education the wider philosophical issues about the sort of education that we should be providing for our children.

He advocated a holistic approach with strong mastery but incorporating the soft skills which children will undoubtedly require in their working life. Still struggling for the name, despite having the initials? He was in office during those distant years when Home Secretaries tended to be male, and when the word Windrush summoned up pictures of a breezy area near water. How times have changed – even if educational principles remain constant.

The key for me is the provision of a group of strong practitioners who teach children how to learn and have a strong pastoral gauge. And this is how the Governors and SLT are setting out our proverbial stall.

Good weather helps, too, of course! After the scorching Bank holiday, short sleeved order was called on our first day back.  The week was packed with summer assessments for Prep children. I told the children to do their best and remember that we all learn more from our errors in these summative assessments. I believe the follow up feedback to the children is paramount if they are to succeed and further their learning.

Away from the hot summer exam rooms, (which we all remember vividly from our youth) to the glorious cricket and rounders fields, I enjoyed watching the year 4 girls and boys laughing and encouraging each other on a balmy Tuesday afternoon. Pre-Prep was buzzing with the sound of jumping and raising funds through a stunning cake sale on Wednesday. Thank you to all the parents for the kind donations.  All proceeds went to The Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Thank you to all the staff and children for the major effort. It was great to see everyone having so much fun.

This week we welcome local Maintained Schools to our annual inter school swimming gala. This event has given children outside our normal swim teams the opportunity to represent the School. At the same time, Mr Nicklin, Mr Newman and I will be teeing off in the Friends Annual Golf event. This really brings together Mum, Dads and Staff to reinforce that community feel at the School. Open day tomorrow is another busy one. Thank you for allowing your children to attend the event. They are such amazing ambassadors.

(Still scratching your head for that elusive name? It’s on the tip of your tongue, is it not? Well, I will put you out of your misery. The name is……Alan Johnson.)

“Oh, yes. Of course!”