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Head's Blog - What makes a school?

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Since taking up post as Head in September 2020, it has been a privilege to get to know a school that has a strong a foundation and sense of history, as well as outlook for the future as Redmaids’ High. As restrictions start to abate and a hope that we are finally starting to emerge from the spectre of Covid-19, this seems an appropriate moment to outline our own thoughts on a new era for Redmaids’ High.

Thanks to the input of parents, students, staff and the wider community, the last 18 months have helped our Senior Team to think carefully about the strengths of the school and how we can best develop these further, while also being aware of enhancing our current offering. There are many plans that we are excited to start talking about in the coming weeks, starting with our new mission statement and school value statements.

Redmaids’ High is an inclusive community based on happiness, aspiration, and support for others.

Inclusive: No one can flourish if they do not feel included, and it is a core belief of ours that all girls should be able to thrive within our walls so that they can look with ambition beyond them. Being inclusive is fundamentally about the relationships we develop with one another, based on understanding, respect and celebration of one another.

Happiness: One of the biggest changes we have seen coming out of the pandemic relates to the changing nature of conversations around what it means to be happy and fulfilled. We must all recognise that happiness is not a constant state, but one that still comes with peaks and troughs, with successes and setbacks. We are making changes both to our timetable and to the conversations we have with our students to encourage more conversations around what being ‘happy’ can entail, and how they identify the things they value most.

Aspiration: The idea of aspiration is a personal one, and one that has remained at the core of my approach throughout my career. We are unashamed in the idea that all students will achieve great success, but that this must be defined in their own terms. Whether it is a degree-level apprenticeship, a place at Oxford or Princeton, or a route straight into the workplace, we will continue to support every individual closely and carefully and help them achieve the very best that they are aiming for.

Support: Support and care for one another has always been a key pillar of life at Redmaids’ High and one that will continue to serve as the heart of the school in the years to come. Whether this is in the pastoral relationships formed between students and teachers or within the student body, or the strong traditions of charitable and community support that our student have always engaged with so strongly. We have never been a school to look only within ourselves for how we might serve, and our work with the local community will only be strengthened in the coming months and years.

Once again, can I take this opportunity to thank all members of our school community for their valuable contribution and engagement. Within the next couple of days, I will share with you our new core values, that will help us develop a clear sense of common purpose and ensure our goals are aligned.

 

Paul Dwyer,

Head

 

Date Posted: 4 February, 2022

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