Headmaster’s Notes: The pioneer spirit is alive and well

12th February 21

Independent schools have long enjoyed being pioneers in the creation of collaborative models for education and Prince’s Mead is no exception. Time and time again we have shown ourselves able to adapt and diversify quickly and successfully. More than 600 years after it was founded by William of Wykeham, Britain’s oldest public school, and one of our closest neighbours, announced this week that it will open its doors to sixth-form girls. Speaking with the College’s Headmaster, Dr Tim Hands, just a few days ago, I was reminded of the symbiotic relationship we have enjoyed to date; we both encourage the exploration of ideas, the discovery of interests, the freedom to be creative and a love of learning, in academic subjects, music, sport, art or the extra-curricular. A lesser-known fact too is that Prince’s Mead was originally established to educate children of the staff at Winchester College.

Whilst we acknowledge the place for those outstanding single sex senior schools that a number of our pupils will be moving onto in September following some outstanding results, Winchester College is recognising the attraction of the co-educational day school model, prompted by centuries of scholarly debate about how pupils learn, see each other and how society affects our attitudes.

I know you have first-hand experience of this learning journey over these past few weeks. Synonymous with any educational journey, there will have been undoubtedly a number of ups and downs, frustrations and joys; however, I have sensed so many positives for all. Most of all, I hope that those who have been able to have enjoyed spending precious time as a family and witnessing your child’s phenomenal talents, capabilities and skills that I have so enjoyed celebrating each week. I am confident that your children will continue to embrace all that will unfold over the second half of this term; the skills that they have been equipped with over the past few weeks, will of course, stand them in good stead. Before that point, I know that they will be looking forward to a good break over the coming week, as are the teachers with their families. Thank you for all of your support from home.

Prince’s Mead is in strong demand not only for these reasons Winchester College is recognising but also our progressive flair and first-class provision across a wide range of educational threads – academic, pastoral, sporting, cultural and social; a 21st century expression of the very best educational offering. Looking to the future, we will continue to exert our independence and meet and often exceed the needs of our children and our families and thank you for your tremendous support from afar on this exciting journey.