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The Heads of School, Oliver Gerard-Pearse and Claire Lambert, took charge of my regular Assembly on Monday. In addition to reading out various notices and reports, they gave their views on various school issues. Here is an excerpt from their address:

Claire Lambert

Claire Lambert, Head of School

Oliver Gerard-Pearse

Oliver Gerard-Pearse, Head of School

Any school’s foundation has to be the academic achievement of its pupils and this must be understood by everyone if you – the pupils –  are to reach your full academic potential. Even if you are not achieving the best results right now, it is your improvement throughout the year that matters. Undoubtedly it is the case that good exam results open the door to higher education and career paths beyond university.  However, once you have got your foot in the door, and gained an interview, you will need to have developed good interpersonal skills to progress in your chosen career. 

Exam results, good or bad, don’t sum up a person and aren’t the only means of achieving success.  Honesty, loyalty, qualities of leadership, courage, patience and a sense of humour may not be as easily measured as academic ability, but they are all the more important because of that.  Besides, if recent Harvard research is to be believed, there are several types of intelligence and it would be impossible for GCSEs and A Levels to measure all of them.

Here at the Royal Hospital School, you have the perfect opportunity to realise your full academic potential whilst at the same time developing the skills you will need for the rest of your lives. RHS provides many opportunities to help create a well-rounded individual, whether it is being a member of a sports team, choir or CCF they all promote the values integral to the school. GP and I have performed with the choir both at St Paul’s and the Royal Albert Hall, experiences that we will always remember.  At this school, so many opportunities are right in front of you, all you have to do is grasp them with both hands. No doubt  you will hear some of Nelson house saying that there are some things they wish they’d done- don’t leave it until your final year to get involved – Even Claire has done the mini-marathon! For us it is important that you are committed, loyal and set yourself the highest possible standards. No matter what you do, if you are in the Band, the Guard or even completing your D of E, you should always give 100%, both for yourself and for those around you. We hope that if everyone lives by these basic values the school will become a better place for all of us.

As you have already heard this morning, sport plays a crucial role in day to day life at this school. Whatever team you represent and whatever level you reach; be it playing for the senior first team, like GP or just doing a games option on a Tuesday afternoon, you should play with enthusiasm and determination, enjoying working as part of a team or developing your own skills.

Whether you represent your school or your house, we believe that it is important you feel part of the community- this includes singing your heart out in the forthcoming house shout as well as being well turned out on divisions.  Your kit should be well presented, your marching should be smart and you must remain quiet at all times. In other words ‘stop flapping your lips!’ We want to ensure that Mr Snoddon and Mr Jones can be proud of what we achieve and that the effort that they make on our behalf is well rewarded.

Your pride in your appearance should also extend into the school day. This means your shirts must be tucked in, your top buttons done up, hair tied back and your blazers must be on! As you have probably realised, the prefect body are on a mission to improve the smartness of the school, so work with us to achieve this goal together. Finally, we’d like to end by urging you to make the most of your opportunities and enjoy the well-rounded education this school offers both inside and outside the classroom. Let’s make this 300th year the most successful yet!