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Message from Mr Hymer: 7 October 2022

I managed to join a couple of our Houses as they met to elect the four charities to support over the coming year. Boys were encouraged to make a short presentation to their Houses before they voted to determine a local, national, international and environmental charity. As always, the boys rarely make poor decisions and four most worthy charities have been elected.

Drake House elected Alzheimer’s Research UK, as proposed by Xander Billington as their Nationally based charity.

Wellington House chose the Fair Trade charity as their International charity for the year.

Scott House will be supporting the World Wildlife Fund proposed by Archie Teja this year.

Nelson House ended with a tied vote between Helping Hands Community Project proposed by Freddie Seamer and The Shakespeare Hospice proposed by Seth Alston on behalf of Oliver Withers  (Wellington House). Money raised over the course of the year will be split between these two charities.

Over the course of the year, each House organises a charity day to raise funds and also to generate more awareness of the charity's work. Last year the boys raised just short of £4000. No doubt their efforts will be equally successful in the year ahead with Drake House's charity day the first in the calendar on Thursday, 17 November. 

As this week's newsletter is published, the Headmaster's Conference in Edinburgh will be coming to a conclusion and Mr Barker and I will be heading back to the Midlands. Conference provides an opportunity to meet and share ideas with fellow heads and to hear some inspirational and industry-leading speakers.

One of our opening speakers was Mark Randolph, the co-founder and former CEO of Netflix. In a question and answer session, Randolph was quizzed on his journey to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation. He described the value of pitching his ideas with his business partner whilst car sharing to work. Whilst most ideas did not progress to products, the best ideas did not come from a single Eureka moment. Ideas were forged and rarely formed by a singular idea.

He described the culture in the Silicon Valley where risk taking was part of all organisations. He detailed how educationalists can help provide potential entrepreneurs with the experience to be effective risk takers. He advised that schools should help pupils take small risks, incrementally taking on larger challenges. Children should begin by taking risks where failure does not hurt. His motto throughout his journey was to not fear risk and to never make the same mistake twice.

In questions from the floor, Randolph was asked what he believed to be the most important subjects to be taught. Interestingly, he felt that the liberal arts were the key to promote curiosity and originality. Trying to predict the exact blend of skills tomorrow’s workforce will need is difficult given the speed of change. However, Randolph was clear that the ability to communicate effectively both in written form and public speaking will always carry a high premium. 

I am looking forward to driving down to Bath to join the Year 6 rugby boys when they enjoy a training session with Bath coaches before taking their place for the afternoon match against Gloucester. I am sure there will be a number of tired boys and staff returning to school on Sunday afternoon. I would like to pass on my thanks to all the teachers giving up their weekend to take the trip.