Latest from the Headmaster's Desk

This is first of what will become a weekly 'blog' looking ahead to some of the activities in the coming week, as well as commenting on some of the more pressing issues in education.  Please do feel free to let me know what you think, and share your thoughts, ideas and opinions.

Whilst we have been speaking about upcoming GCSEs for some weeks and months now, the return to school after the Easter break marks the increasing consciousness of these exams with greater imminence and inevitability.  Study Leave starts in just two weeks' time and I am pleased to have seen such commitment from Upper V pupils during last week's revision week with colleagues.  I am delighted to say that they are working hard and are showing a resolved commitment to achieving the very best they can.  Whilst they and their Lower V compatriots will be working hard this week, the vast majority of the school, fifty-five of us to be precise, will be canoeing, climbing, gorge-walking and more in the Lake District for three days - a fantastic opportunity for learning in a very different way.

As Theresa May makes the issue of mental health in schools ever more prescient, I was delighted to see on Friday that we had already reached forty delegates signed up for our next termly conference, this time on this very issue.  On 24 May I will be very pleased to welcome Julie Paterson, a Mental Health First Aid England practitioner to Beech Hall.  We have been working with Julie for the past few months as we work in a number of directions to raise the profile of mental health at school, developing in our young people the mental strength, confidence and personal resilience needed to navigate the challenges of growing up in 2017.

Finally, as the country begins to go once again to the polls, our own Lower V candidates will be canvassing for votes in the build-up to elections for our new Senior Prefects who will take over from our existing cohort on 5 June.  Following applications in writing, we will hear two-minute manifesto pledges before the public vote and final decision-making by my colleagues and me.  Every pupil and member of staff will have a vote on 19 May #democracy #pupilvoice.

Mr J D Allen