I am thoroughly enjoying taking the time to write my fortnightly blog as it gives me the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on so many of the positive achievements of staff and students.
I believe working closely and listening to our students makes both a happy and successful school. One key group of students who help provide the communication and insight between myself and the student body are our Student Heads of House and it is this time of year we say thank you to those who have taken on the role over the past year and our newly elected students. The Student Head of House process is a very gruelling one and in some cases can be more demanding than many job interviews. Once a student applies for the role s/he is then interviewed by his/her Performance Leader and then a shortlist of candidates created. They next have a question and answer session with students from the House and give their final convincing pitch as to why they should represent them. I want to thank all those students to took it upon themselves to apply and I hope they found it a useful and worthwhile experience, regardless of the outcome and I know that their insight and thoughts will further guide me in our journey together. It is now time to welcome and introduce to our school community and congratulate our richly deserving new Student Heads of House Molly Costello, Charlotte Pitchford, Rebecca Kay, Rebecca Blease, Maisie Waterhouse, Jasmine Cory, Joby Cosgrave, Lara Jay, Charlie Hughes and Helena Lewis. I very much look forward to working with you all. Congratulations!
Last weekend I visited the Contemporary Craft Fair in Bovey Tracey, not only to support our local community but also to witness for myself the fantastic work of our Year 12 students which followed last term’s inspiring screen print workshop led by Phil Summerscale of Dartmoor Screen Printing in Ashburton. This workshop trained our students in all aspects of screen printing and prepared them for their screen print exhibition at the festival. The students exhibited their artwork alongside over 200 of the very best contemporary artists and makers in the country with over 10,000 visitors attending. The students branded themselves as the ‘Print House’ and had a great deal of interest from the visitors.
In addition to exhibiting their screen printed artwork, the graphics students were integral to the creation of a new area within the craft festival catering for young people aged 13-18. Graphics students were set a live brief by Sarah James, Director of The Contemporary Craft Fair, to name and design the branding of this new area. Students worked tirelessly creating numerous visuals, with the final design branded ‘The Den’. Within The Den, the students ran screen printing workshops utilising their newfound skills. The Helen Foundation very kindly helped fund the project workshops for both art staff and students. The students are very excited about sharing their newfound love of screen printing to other young people within the community and beyond. A special thanks must go to Mr Mukherjee and his team for supporting and providing our students with such an amazing opportunity.
And finally, as this blog is following a strong art theme – a reminder that there is an art exhibition at the 6th Form tonight showcasing some impressive art and photography from our students. If you have any young aspiring artists in the house I am sure they would enjoy seeing what they could achieve if they continue to follow their ambitions. The exhibition is open from 6-7pm at Place House and all are welcome.
Paul Collins (Principal)