The highlight of my Thursday afternoon was a walk along the Design Technology corridor where Year 7 were enjoying their lessons. It was all going on - sanding, filing, painting, sewing and at the very end in one of the food rooms some lovely pizza toast was being cooked. I keep writing each week about Year 7 and it is a genuine joy to see them experiencing new learning and embracing it with such enthusiasm.

Students cooking Students sawing

Students sewing Students sewing

At the other end of the school, this morning we are giving out ties to our new Year 11 prefects. To be appointed as a prefect at Wallingford School is an honour which doesn’t come easily. Students have been nominated and considered through a process involving a range of staff. The criteria is somewhat paradoxically very clear – wearing uniform appropriately, completing homework to a really good standard, high levels of attendance – but also harder to quantify – attitude to school over time, commitment, going “the extra mile”. Most importantly, it is about being a role model, someone who younger students can look up to, respect and aspire to emulate.

Being a prefect is a significant responsibility. I can still remember the prefects when I was in my early years of secondary school and they help to shape our early school experiences: essentially, if the teachers trust these students then I can too. I also still have my prefect tie in a box at home; I was probably a budding teacher at 16 (!) but I was proud to be a prefect and it meant something to me.

Congratulations to the Year 11 students who have been appointed as prefects for this year. Due to the lockdown it is a little later than usual and we will use them in school in slightly different ways to previously – more to come on this – due to the “bubbles” but we are confident that they will do a great job and make a difference in our school.