Head's Blog: News & Views from Mr Carson
Welcome to Mr Carson's "Head's Blog", where he will share his news and views about RMS and beyond.
Blog posts are listed below.
A First Week to Remember - Monday 16th January 2017
As I am sure everybody connected with the School would expect, it has been a very busy first week of Hilary Term.
After a well-deserved festive break for pupils and teachers alike, RMS hit the ground running on Tuesday morning as girls brought both energy and purpose to the corridors and school. There is an immense range of activities taking place every single day at RMS, and what follows here is only a handful of highlights from what has been, for me personally, a memorable and pleasurable first week beginning to get to know a wonderful learning community.
Year 11 were possibly the most focused year group this week, with mock GCSEs allowing girls to experience sitting examinations in the Great Hall and also concentrating minds on targets for the remainder of this school year.However, the most fun to be had on Tuesday was definitely taking place in Cadogan House where there was a great mystery to solve as Mr Connors' Christmas presents of chocolates had been stolen by one of eight suspicious characters!
Years 2 to 6 showed forensic powers of deduction as they questioned suspects, studied clues at the crime scene, and viewed CCTV footage before unraveling this fictional mystery. I was over in Cadogan House on Tuesday to see the girls all having a tremendous time, developing their already strong questioning skills, and stimulating their imaginations ahead of a series of writing tasks that followed during the rest of this week.
There was also much creativity evident in Ruspini House this week, including Blue Class creating beautiful flowers using a variety of materials and textures, and the children in Red Class taking their artistic talents a stage further by creating their own fabulous interpretations of Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ oil canvas. Our new Head of Ruspini House, Mrs Toni Finkel, has spent the week getting to know our youngest RMS pupils and their parents, and I too look forward to meeting parents of Ruspini pupils at the coffee afternoon in Ruspini House on the afternoon of February 10th. Like Mrs Finkel, I have been trying to get to know as much of the School as possible, visiting all sections of it, introducing myself to staff and pupils alike wherever possible, including meeting a number of wonderful Year 6 Cadogan House parents on Wednesday afternoon, and then finally delivering my first assembly to Senior School and Hind House students on Friday.
The different groups of girls that I have sat down with at lunch throughout this first week have all provided me with advice to help me out in assembly – “Be a little bit funny, tell us about yourself, and include a few pictures” being the gist of their tips – so come Friday afternoon, I not only felt extraordinarily privileged to stand before them all, but hopefully I was also well-prepared to meet their initial expectations.
The assembly was intended in part to allow the girls to gain an initial sense of who I am as a person, as it is important that pupils know their Head just as I wish to know each of them as soon as is possible. I am equally looking forward to getting to know our parent community at RMS, and Saturday morning offered another opportunity to do just that as the chilly January air did not prevent a good number from supporting their daughters at an invitational hockey and netball tournament hosted by the School. All of our girls who participated showed great skill and desire to win, but the most inspirational team of the morning was undoubtedly our Year 8 netball team, who not only won the netball tournament, but were also unbeaten in all of their matches. The girls were delighted with their success when I spoke with them afterwards, and in competing against teams mostly a year older than themselves they had definitely demonstrated just as well as one could wish our RMS Value of the Month: “the courage to challenge oneself”.
For me there were so many highlights of my first week officially being a part of the RMS community, but two memories that perhaps most delighted me in exemplifying part of why this is such a wonderful school relate to our Year 13 students. The first was watching a group of girls attending a ‘Cooking for University’ class with Mrs Clivaz teaching them all about healthy cooking, and just enjoying witnessing how at ease with and extremely supportive of each other the girls were as they cooked a series of delightfully appetising dishes.
During the lesson I heard the girls talking about the “Offers Board” in Hind House. I asked about this and was told that in order to support and celebrate their successes as university offers arrived, the Year 13 girls had taken it upon themselves to write down in their Sixth Form Centre a full list of every offer that each girl had achieved. I walked over to Hind House afterwards to witness the “Offers Board” for myself and was quite overwhelmed by what is an extensive and inspiring list of RMS girls who have received multiple offers to study at wonderful institutions across the UK.
The list included all of the most competitive courses and prestigious destinations, of course, but what matters most to me is that each of our leavers studies on the right course at the best university for her, and the variety and range of the courses that our girls have received offers from suggests that this is exactly what is taking place. One could not help but be proud of this celebratory board showing a cohort of RMS students getting ready to spread their wings and take flight as independent young women. University is, for all of our girls who wish it, the initial desired destination following their time at Ruspini, Cadogan, Senior School and Hind House, and for me it was a real highlight of this week to see that for the 2017 RMS Leavers there is clearly so much to look forward to, and a great variety of wonderfully exciting careers lay ahead of them all.