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From the Headmaster

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  • School Photograph Day

    Published 21/06/24, by Angela Slater

    Ahh, school photograph day. 

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  • Building shared experiences

    Published 21/06/24, by Angela Slater

    Perhaps the defining feature of this time of year is the spirit of celebration that abounds. We celebrate the end of exams, we celebrate numerous personal achievements, and we celebrate the upcoming end of term and the prospect of an enormously well-deserved summer break for all the community to enjoy time with their families. 

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  • Year 8s celebrate end of exams

    Published 11/06/24, by Angela Slater

    With Common Entrance for 8C, final preparations for internal exams for Y5, 6 and 7, and the Year 4 D&T trip to Paulton’s Park, the first week after half term has been jolly busy and productive. Indeed, this half of term is crammed full of exciting trips for various Year groups and a great deal more – do keep your eyes closely on the calendar! 

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  • The Sailboat of Needs concept

    Published 17/05/24, by Angela Slater

    In Monday’s assembly, after some diversions and interludes along the way, we completed our journey through the ‘sailboat of needs’ concept referred to on several occasions earlier in the year.

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  • A sense of perspective

    Published 10/05/24, by Angela Slater

    Although four days of busy Pilgrims’ life already gives a sense of distance, I do hope everyone had a restful and refreshing Bank Holiday last weekend. As ever, there has been much afoot, and how good for it to be enhanced by the weather. (Though next week is not looking promising!) 

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  • Silence

    Published 03/05/24, by Angela Slater

    When was the last time you experienced silence? Have a good old think. No, not then. Think a bit more. No, that doesn’t really count either. I mean proper silence… The sort of silence that actually makes you stop in your tracks because it has crept up on you, in a manoeuvre of aural stealth, and then ‘bang!’… or rather,  ‘                     !’… it strikes you between the ears. And you stop. And you listen intently to the chance to hear – well – nothing. 

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  • Confidence with humility

    Published 26/04/24, by Angela Slater

    Take a look through many a prep school’s website or marketing literature and you are likely to find use of the word ‘confidence’ and the aim to develop it within pupils. At Pilgrims’ our particular take is ‘confidence with humility’. Developing the right sort of confidence is hugely important, a valid ambition and ultimately central in children reaching their full potential. Now, ‘confidence’ is a topic I have written on before in the newsletter. Previously, it was in the context of performing an instrumental solo in a ‘low-risk’, small-environment concert, making some errors, but picking oneself up, dusting oneself off, and carrying on. 

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  • What does leadership look like?

    Published 22/03/24, by Angela Slater

    There was a fantastic hour last Saturday morning that chimed with so many things that I have become a huge advocate of in the last decade or so of my career. In the most recent of our Wellbeing Matters sessions, Mark Herbert (an ex independent school teacher, pastor, and now co-founder of ‘Salt and Light’ leadership coaching) came to talk to parents about developing leadership in our pupils.  

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  • What do you stand for?

    Published 15/03/24, by Angela Slater

    In this day and age – with the posturing, virtue signalling and the easy politicising of public discourse on mass messaging and communication platforms – this question is perhaps being asked, if only implicitly, more than ever before.  However, I would argue that the degree to which it is truly connected with and given proper thought is likely to be far less than ever before. In some part, this is because opportunities to be undistracted enough to search one’s mind, memory and morals are at risk of dwindling entirely.  

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  • What you practise, you get better at.

    Published 08/03/24, by Angela Slater

    At a school with as much music and sport as Pilgrims’, this does not come as a surprise. It is a familiar axiom. But what can be salutary is to remember in quite how many regards this is true. It is not just the realisation of the boy towards the top end of the school who starts to feel the burgeoning fruits of all that time spent on their instrument, refining their passing technique or, indeed, nuancing their brush work in art. Both physically and neurologically, repeated activity builds familiarity, strength and accuracy of action. Muscles strengthen, virtuous cycles build and health (in whatever holistic sense the word can be taken) improves.  

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  • AI/Machine Learning-related coffee morning

    Published 01/03/24, by Angela Slater

    Full disclosure: this piece involves me once again extolling the virtues of Pilgrims’ location and community. I’m sorry. Asking me not to extol the benefits of these cornerstones of my childhood is like asking Eric Cantona to stop peddling pop-philosophy, B.A. Baracus to embrace modern concepts of masculinity, or Mr Toad to tear his eyes and ego away from that bright new shining motor car. It’s just not going to happen.) 

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  • What is Fair?

    Published 23/02/24, by Angela Slater

    'What could be a suitable collective noun for a group of 8- to 9-year-old girls participating in a ten pin bowling birthday party?...’ (Suggestions on the back of a postcard, folks.) This was an idle, light-hearted musing I found myself having during half term, as my youngest managed to haul herself out of a period of tonsillitis for long enough to enjoy her own party. The flashing lights. The loud music. The arcade machines. The things we parents endure for our little ones! 

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