Headmaster’s update

Headmaster’s update

I write this having recently bidden farewell to our Year 13 leavers and having also enjoyed meeting many Old Elizabethans at the 2012 Founder’s Day Fete organised by the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s.

More than ever, I am sensible of the great contribution made to the wellbeing of the School by the wider Elizabethan community, including alumni of all generations, parents and other supporters.

Founder’s Day amply demonstrates that contribution. This year, our guest speaker at the service, Piers Martin, Director and CEO of British Fencing, gave an illuminating address in which he discussed the British Olympic fencing team and the steadfast dedication necessary to succeed at Olympic level. Piers was a QE pupil from 1987 to 1994, while his father, Barrie Martin, is Chairman of the Governing Body. On a personal note, I enjoyed my first opportunity as Headmaster to preside over the traditional Roll Call and give the reading of the School Chronicle on Stapylton Field. We were also pleased to be able to revive an old QE tradition – the playing of a Founder’s Day cricket match between the School First XI and an old boys’ team.

Other highlights of the term have included a number of events through which the School celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Our Kings and Queens Concert was a memorable success, as was the special Jubilee-themed lunch in a bunting-decked Refectory. It was good to welcome back QE old boy Claude Francois Muhuza (2001-2008) as guest speaker at Junior Awards.

I have also been encouraged recently by the early success of the Old Elizabethans Business Club, which is very ably led by Michael Galluci (OE 1981-88). Launched in January last year on the LinkedIn social media platform, the club has attracted a good number of members. Its aims include providing opportunities for old boys across the world to get to know each other, share business advice and news, to get together at various functions and to support the School.

Earlier this term, I relished the opportunity to meet some older alumni when I attended the popular Forty Society Luncheon Club, which, as most of you will doubtless know, is for those who left the School 40 or more years ago. Included in the society’s ranks are a number of Old Elizabethans who took part in one of the more remarkable events in the School’s history which took place 50 years ago this summer: the 1962 QE expedition to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Such links with our past are tremendously important, as are the regular visits to the School by our old boys. We see our alumni as a significant element in the future development of Queen Elizabeth’s School. This is set out in our four-year plan, entitled School Priorities for Development 2012-2016, which has just been fully endorsed by the School’s Governing Body.

We are, of course, looking forward to the Olympics. Tom Aggar (OE 1995-2002), has become quite a familiar face at QE and I will be cheering him on in the rowing as he aims to repeat his gold-winning performance of the Beijing Paralympics. I will also watch with keen interest the performance of Piers Martin’s fencers.

Finally, I am delighted to be able to bring you positive news regarding our buildings. Firstly, the new Food Technology suite is now complete and is currently being tested before we bring it into full use in September this year. Secondly, the Trustees recently gave their formal assent to the next phase, which will involve the creation of our new Library and Dining Hall. Work began recently and the new facilities are scheduled to be ready for use in September 2013.

May I wish you all an enjoyable summer.

Neil Enright