Thursday was the school's Open Evening. I'd attended a couple of these as a parent some years ago and was quietly impressed by what I saw, but I can't remember much about them save an exploding Jelly Baby trick involving a test tube, Bunsen Burner and said item of confectionery. 'Well' I thought, 'if they can nuke a Jelly Baby, that's the school for our kids.' And so it was.
If you attended Thursday's event and were brave enough to venture near the science labs, you may well have witnessed the feat for yourself, as it's still a favourite with prospective parents and children. But that's not all you will have seen. The hall was packed with punters who experienced some great live music from our students. Our new head, Dr. Riding gave a talk, setting out his vision for the school.
I did my bit too. Not wanting to single-handedly destroy our reputation for artistic excellence I decided against a song and dance act and said a few words on behalf of the governing body instead. Short and sweet. Well, short anyway,
Our purpose as a governing body is to ensure that Matravers becomes a School in which every child fulfils their potential.We aim offer students an education that will stretch them academically so that they achieve the best possible exam results. Year-on-year our results have continued to improve. We will set ambitious targets for next year’s GCSEs and A-Level grades.As a thriving arts school we seek to unlock our pupil’s creative talents and encourage their self-expression.We maintain a strong and caring pastoral ethos where every child matters, not matter what educational challenges they may face.Matravers offers a full, enriching and rounded curriculum in a safe and inclusive environment. We want our students to be academically successful, but that’s not all. We also want to help form them into mature and responsible members of society, with a strong sense of moral purpose.Our driving ambition is to ensure that coming to Matravers will not place limits on students’ life-choices, but open them up. Speaking as a parent as well as Chair of Governors, I know that’s why we sent our children here.
I hope that the open evening experience helped prospective parents and children to see that Matravers is the school for students aged 11-18 in our community.
And then it was back to school for Friday's Coffee Morning in aid of Dorothy House. The event was organised by Sixth Formers, with hot drinks and tasty cake in plentiful supply. Once more, school musicians did us proud, providing an eclectic soundtrack for visitors and staff.
Somewhat embarrassingly I received a telephone call on returning home, telling me that I (or the wife, more precisely) had won a rather fetching red Pashmina scarf. If a governors team also wins the quiz competition, people will think that there has been a fix. We were tempted to use our smartphones to Google for one or two of the answers, but resisted, as cheating in a 'test' would not have been be a very good example for governors to set. Conscience makes cowards of us all.
Around £275 was raised by the Coffee Morning for a very good cause, so thanks to our brilliant staff and students for all their hard work and to everybody who came along for their support and generosity.