As we say goodbye to one year group we say hello to another. Thursday this week we welcome the Year 6 boys who will be joining the School in September. They spend the entire day in school attending the Year 6 Induction Day; an opportunity to meet their form tutor, meet new friends, and see what is to come next year. Part of that day is to attend the whole school assembly which is poignant this year as we will be, as a school, acknowledging the 100th Anniversary of the start of The Battle of the Somme. Over these four years from 2014 to 2018 we are acknowledging key dates from WWI, and The Battle of the Somme is one of those events. Sadly a number of Old Maidstonians lost their lives during the battle and so it is right that we properly remember them.
This week I continue meeting each class from Year 7 to year 10 to discuss with them a number of exciting changes that they will see over the next few years. To date I have spoken with 16 out of the 24 classes, and generally the response has been positive. As I said in my letter to parents about three weeks ago, parents will hear more about these changes at the beginning of the academic year from September, but it is important that the students themselves hear about the changes and be given an opportunity to ask questions that I can then answer. Understanding change is so important, and this is what these sessions are intending to do. I will have finished meeting all classes by the end of next week before Lower School Speech Day. Despite the letter that was sent out last week regarding today's industrial action by the NUT members, I wish to again express my frustration with the action taken and the impact that it has created. Asking some students to remain at home and having to cancel tonight's Year 10 Parents' Evening were decisions not taken lightly but sadly were necessary. I am continuing to discuss with staff how we can rectify the situation particularly with regards the Parents' Evening, and should be in a position in the next few days to inform parents of Year 10 how we are going to do this. Once again I deeply regret being in this position; it is incredibly frustrating that our hands were somewhat tied.