I am writing this on 2nd January, having officially taken over as Headmaster on 1st January. So may I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope that 2017 will be an excellent year for all of us who are part of the Kingsley family.

Debs and I have lived in 2 countries (the UK and India) and in 8 houses before our arrival here in Bideford on 20th December. There will be some of you who have moved far more frequently than we have and others who may have lived in the same home for the whole of your lives; however, all of us can appreciate that moving can be stressful. We had enough space to get a tree up for Christmas and host the whole family for the Christmas period. Since then we have been busy going through boxes and wondering why we bothered to bring many of the things we have brought with us!

In the last couple of weeks I have found myself frequently using an aphorism I heard a number of years ago: Question: “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “One bite at a time!” Not only does this resonate for Debs and my family as we look at the boxes that still need to be unpacked but, I think it equally applies to my role as the new Headmaster of Kingsley School.

I am very excited about being appointed as the new Headmaster and I am looking forward to building on the excellent work already done by Simon Woolcott and the staff team in recent years. I would like to thank those of you (parents and pupils) who took part in the survey run on behalf of MIST by Melanie Tucker Consultants in the first half of last term. I have spent much time over the Christmas period reading the report. There are many things that you have said you really value about Kingsley (friendliness, welcoming, approachable, small class sizes, nurturing, inclusive and with caring staff) and there are some things that you are clearly not so impressed with at the moment. You have my word that these issues will be discussed and addressed by my leadership team as we aim to make the school even better this year.

I have worked in the independent sector all of my professional career and, as an ISI inspector myself, I am acutely aware that there is no such thing as the perfect school. However, I do want Kingsley to be an excellent school and I know from the survey report that many of you do as well and that you believe it has the potential to become this.

I am ready for the challenges that lie ahead and I look forward to getting to know you and your children as we seek to discover, nurture and celebrate all that they are going to achieve. I look forward to meeting many of you at Bideford Rugby Club on 14th January as Kingsley School is proud to sponsor the Chiefs match versus Clevedon. Come on the Chiefs!

Mr Pete Last