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Headmaster's Newsletter

A fond farewell to Lucy Sowah, Tim Venvell and Julie Holmes, and welcome to our new teachers and trainees who are joining us in September.

Dear Parent

It has been exceedingly rewarding to see how the RGS community has pulled together during the past four months, whether you are a colleague, student, parent, governor or friend of the School.

Parents have had a tough call in balancing their working lives and, in some cases, financial challenges, elderly relatives, illnesses, at the same time as supporting their children trying to stay abreast of their studies.

As a School, we have made considerable strides in our agility and we will be the better for it.  I said, in one of my first video messages that we should not simply go back to the way we were once we have fully re-opened.  Your overwhelmingly positive feedback has inspired and nourished our staff, your constructive comments have been a catalyst for improvement and your acts of generosity in time, resources and continued support, for example, of the Annual Fund, much appreciated.

Our boys have coped well and have, in an abundance of cases, demonstrated great commitment to their academic work.  I have heard and seen countless examples of lessons of all styles being conducted, willing participation in the various contests, and I have much enjoyed the Teams meetings I have held with small groups of students.  We have been delighted to welcome boys back into RGS for catch-up sessions, subject lessons and finally Years 7-9 for their Sport sessions.

I am sure you will all join me in thanking all the RGS staff for their dedication and hard work.


We are saying goodbye to the following colleagues:

Graduate Trainees (Jodi Burgess, Ruth Crevis, Bianca Farthing, Matthew Hull, Jacob Lowe, Kees Lutejin, Alex Sankey, Naukhez Sheikh and Tommy Ruler) have completed their training year with us and move on to full time posts in schools. Congratulations!

Resident Sports Graduates (Alex Lee and Scott Slade) – these chaps have supported the Sports programme alongside their Masters qualification.

Teachers Ms Lucy Sowah (biology) has worked at RGS twice; she was a Head of Year before relocating and, since her return, has been an erstwhile Contingent Commander of the CCF and the Director of Higher Education and Careers. She has performed both roles superbly well and leaves in place a well-structured and highly commended careers and university entrance programme.  Furthermore, we have had the most successful Oxbridge offer profile for a number of years.  We wish Lucy well as she moves to Aylesbury High School as Head of Biology.

Mrs Julie Holmes has worked as a Maths teacher since 1999.  Julie has been inspirational in the classroom, has always supported her students to achieve stellar results and has played an important part in the Maths Olympiads and mentoring programmes.  We wish her well as she retires from teaching, but I am delighted that she will continue to support the department in another capacity in the Autumn.

Tim Venvell has, without doubt been a first-class Director of Music over a period of 26 years.  A very highly skilled, all-round musician, Tim has inspired generations of musicians, many of whom are now professionals.  Tim’s energy, ambition and commitment have been stellar indeed. This has resulted in a huge range of opportunities for our young musicians.  Music does not get much better in state funded schools, and it just goes to show what can be done with the right departmental leadership.  Tim will still be around as he is an integral part of the Chiltern Music Academy, our partners whose offices are at RGS. We all wish him a happy retirement.

My very best wishes to all colleagues who are leaving us, please see the photograph of three teachers who are leaving and a photograph of the new teachers and trainees who are joining us in September.

You may wish to see some examples of videos produced for students - please see the School’s new Instagram account @rgshighwycombe.  You can see our final assembly of the year and the farewell to Year 13 at the bottom of this newsletter.

We are working towards ‘business as usual’ in September.  The day school and boarding will be open.  I will write during the week beginning 17 August with an update.

In the meantime please do stay well and have some quality family time.

With renewed thanks and very best wishes.

Yours sincerely

Philip Wayne