This week I have been away from school for 3 days as part of an ISI inspection team inspecting another independent school somewhere in the UK. I have now done 7 of these inspections and I always find them to be fascinating experiences. Every time I visit another school as part of an inspection team I am always struck by how very differently schools go about doing things. I am always impressed by something when I visit other schools but, equally, I am always also acutely aware of how well we do so many things here at Kingsley. I keep a file in my study which I call the “good news” file. In here I keep copies of letters (yes, some people still write them!) and emails where parents, grandparents, other Heads and visitors to the school have taken the time and trouble to say thank you for the good things we do. It is always lovely to receive good news and I always ensure that these messages are shared with the staff who have actually put the hard work in to making particular events or developments happen. I know that we don’t always get it right and I am working hard, along with the rest of the staff team here at Kingsley, to constantly look to improve the quality of the education we provide here at Kingsley. All I wanted to say this week was a huge “thank you” to those of you who do take the time and trouble to say thank you when we get things right. For those of you who might sometimes be frustrated when we get things wrong please be reassured that I am always looking to learn from our mistakes and to improve the education that your children are receiving. One of the books I am currently working my way through when I make the time to read is “Black box thinking” by Matthew Syed. Some of you may perhaps have come across this book. Mr Syed’s starting premise is that in complex organisations, like schools, success can only happen when we confront our mistakes, learn from them and create a climate where it is safe to fail. This message is as important for our pupils as it is for us as an organisation.

It was lovely to meet so many Reception parents today who had come in to have lunch with their children as part of a new initiative that Lucy Goaman has launched for the next few weeks. Over the coming weeks parents from different year groups in the Prep School will be coming in to enjoy lunch in school and see what their children enjoyed eating at lunch times, thanks to Mr Barker and his excellent catering team. I look forward to meeting many more Prep School parents over the weeks to come at these lunches and please get in touch with Diane Smart in the Prep School Office, if you have not already replied to say that you would like to join us. If these lunches work successfully, we might then consider doing the same for parents of Senior School pupils in the summer term.

Pete Last