Students at the Christmas Markets in BirminghamIt was a pleasure to attend the Merchant Taylors’ Livery Awards in London on Monday evening. Our team of Year 12 students was competing against other schools associated with the Company in a Dragon’s Den-style event in which they proposed an environmentally friendly product to take to market. I won’t give too much away about the product apart from the name – Carbon Conscious – but our team did brilliantly and won the event. They particularly impressed former judge from The Apprentice Nick Hewer and that is no mean feat! They have now progressed to the final where they will compete against other schools associated with livery companies in February at the Mansion House. A huge well done to our students and a massive thankyou to the staff who have supported and guided them and also to the mentors who have brought different perspectives to the process.

As ever, there have been a huge amount of things going on in school this week including lots of fixtures, trips and visits including one to a Christmas market and rehearsals as we get closer to rolling out the yellow brick road. Further congratulations must go to the team who competed in the Rotary Debating Competition and performed very well indeed; much more to come on debating as we look to develop it further across the school during the year and provide further opportunities for even more students.

House assemblies have also taken place this week and emphasised the spirit of participation and competition which are at the heart of our House system. It was particularly pleasing to see the high profile of the House poetry competition in these assemblies as the standard was excellent with some very impressive entries. We roll on with House sports matches about to kick in before the end of term and they are always really enjoyable.

All of this contributes to that intangible thing called “the life of the school” and is inextricably woven into our school values based around our students being “able and qualified” and having had a great experience of school. This is significant, important and never to be underestimated.