Virtual Senior School Information Evening

Last Thursday evening, parents of pupils in Years 5 and 6 were invited to an information evening to learn more about the Senior School.

Head Girl Holly Webb and Head Boy Maxwell Buchanan began the evening by speaking about their experience at Heritage. They emphasized the benefits of the close community, a result of the intentionally small classes. ‘We have good relationships with teachers who know us well’, noted Maxwell.

Caroline Wren, Head of Pastoral for the Senior School, then described the Pastoral care offered to pupils. She described how every pupil is assigned a Tutor who monitors their academic and pastoral well-being through regular one-to-one sessions. The goal, said Mrs Wren, is a child that’s well known and well understood. ‘We are trying to make sure your child is happy and performing to their full potential.’

Jonathan Burden, head of Seniors next reviewed the subjects studied in Years 7 and 8, as well as the I/GSCE classes, which begin in Year 9. Mr Burden described the offerings as a ‘rich experience for students’, and pointed out that the aim of the curriculum is to develop a ‘love of learning, for its own sake’.

Finally, Mr Fletcher spoke about the overall objective of education at Heritage, which is ‘formation – not just information’. He noted that every student is well known, and that relationships with other students and staff are natural and respectful. He stated, We are aiming at young people who are engaged, able to manage themselves well, and hopefully we will have opened some doors for them in all sorts of interesting directions.’ He ended with a quote by Charlotte Mason: ‘When he has finished his education, the question is not – how much does he know? – but how much does he care? And about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? And, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?’

 

Senior Assembly commemorates Black History Month

On Tuesday 13th and Thursday 15 October, the Senior School commemorated Black History month by reading from Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming. Published in 2018, it has been described as an intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir.

The assembly began with the song ‘We Gotta Pray’ by Alicia Keys, which pleads for strength and peaceful protest, and the accompanying music video that shows photos of civil rights protests from the past and present along with quotes from the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Gandhi.

Mrs Fletcher (on Tuesday) and the Prefects (on Thursday) then read from a chapter of the book that was set in the days before Michelle Obama became First Lady of the United States ─ during her time at Princeton University, which she attended from 1981-85. During the reading, photos of Mrs Obama’s time at Princeton were shown.

Mrs Obama describes her experiences during this time as someone very much in a minority, saying ‘Your world shifts, but you’re asked to adjust and overcome, to play your music the same as everyone else. This is doable, of course ─ minority and underprivileged students rise to the challenge all the time ─ but it takes energy. It takes energy to be the only black person in a lecture hall or one of a few nonwhite people trying out for a play or joining an intramural team. It requires effort, an extra level of confidence, to speak in those settings and own your presence in the room.’

 

Images from music video for ‘We Gotta Pray’ by Alicia Keys

Images of Michelle Obama

Open Morning held on Saturday 10th October

On Saturday, 10th October, Heritage offered an in-person, socially distanced Open Morning. Using an online booking system, we were able to admit family groups in timed increments, allowing them to safely tour our Infant, Junior and Senior Schools. A one-way system was used during the event, with stops along the way where visitors had an opportunity to speak with our teachers and current pupils, as well as our Headmaster, Jason Fletcher and Admissions Officer, Estelle Cubitt. We were pleased to be able to provide an opportunity for families to safely experience Heritage’s unique atmosphere in person. We are planning to offer another Open Morning in the spring.

 

Preparing our pupils for life after Heritage

Mrs Jenny Fleck, our Head of Academics for Seniors, recently hosted a virtual information evening to help our Year 11 Leavers and their parents prepare for the next step in their educational journey.

The purpose of the session was to outline the various options available to students after leaving Heritage, and to guide them in the next steps of the process. Families first heard from two guest speakers: Jeremy Frost from Comberton Village College, who spoke about A levels, and Jacqueline Paris from the Stephen Perse Foundation, who talked about the International Baccalaureate programme. Mrs Fleck then outlined in greater detail the main educational options – A levels, the International Baccalaureate, BTECS and Diplomas, and other Vocational courses – and the providers for each.

In making their choices, Mrs Fleck recommended that all pupils start with these 5 questions:  “What am I good at?  What do I enjoy?  What combines well with my other choices? Am I qualified to study it? Does it support my long-term plans?”

Parent Catriona Buchanan, who attended the evening with her son Maxwell, says, “We felt far better equipped by the end of the talks and more motivated for the next steps of researching the specific courses at different schools, open evenings, and application procedures.”

Mrs Fleck also provides additional in-school support to our Leavers to help them think through their choices, their timeline for making an application and how to write a personal statement.

More information about the post-16 transition for Heritage pupils is available on our website: https://www.heritageschool.org.uk/our-school/post-16-transition/.

 

 

Year 11 Leavers Service

On Friday the 28th of August we were very pleased to gather with our Year 11 pupils and several teachers for a small Leavers Service. It was a meaningful time reconnecting after the many months of lockdown and celebrating their time at Heritage. 

We enjoyed speeches from the Head Boy and Head Girl, and one of our very talented Leavers performed on the piano for us. Mrs Pluke then shared one of her extraordinary poems celebrating each of our Leavers. She imagined them as members of the Government, helping in their own unique way to lead the country through the pandemic! Mr Fletcher then spoke about the nature of knowledge and why we need it. He urged the Leavers to devote themselves to their studies and to take their intellectual and inner development seriously. We finished with a slideshow of Mr Hulett’s photographs, taken over many years. 

We are very proud of our Leavers of 2020 and wish them all the best as they take their next steps and get started at various sixth forms.