And the sun shone...

Dear OFS Community,

Welcome to the new school year, I do hope that all of our families enjoyed the summer break. Our team came together last week in preparation for this year, and we enjoyed some inspiring training, workshops and seminars looking at equity, diversity and inclusion. This is part of an ongoing conversation that started well before the pandemic and Jeffrey Boakye gave us fantastic food for thought, do dive into his books and podcasts…

Privilege is something that we all need to engage with as early as possible and as a school we are looking at ways to open up conversations across our range and spectrum to ensure that we have the tools, the awareness and the desire to listen and learn. I labelled this ‘being comfortable, to be uncomfortable’ last year and whilst we already enjoy an incredibly open culture, we’re already having even more meaningful conversations following Jeffrey’s time with us.

In addition to developing this focus, we continue to grow our culture of ‘coaching’. We are in our second year with over 35 staff training as coaches; whilst this started as a whole staff initiative, the hope was to grow it into the pupil experience as it leans into greater self-awareness and reflection – something the world needs more of!

Autumn Orlumni Event

After A-Level results were released this summer, we welcomed back our Orleyans to bring them together for a reminder of what really matters – friendships! What a lovely group, it was a real joy to spend time listening to them reminiscing. Their stories continue with a raft of universities listed in our guest book…

Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Imperial, Loughborough, LSE, Oxford, Manchester, Manchester Met, Nottingham, UCL & Warwick.

But what interested me the most was the list of courses…

Aerospace Engineering, Business & Law, Design Engineering, Economics, English literature, Fashion Communication, Finance Accounting & Management, History, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Neuroscience & Psychology, Politics and Sociology.

And this was from 21 school leavers who were able to join us – I would love to hear from the other 45 from that year group! I’ll be honest, the evening quickly returned to Orley values with 21 eighteen-year-olds wanting to play football in the Main Pitch as the sun set on another day…

New Beginnings

It feels rather appropriate to segue from past pupils leaving school to our starters! We welcomed the next generation of Orleyans into Reception on Wednesday. I always watch in amazement as children who have never met each other do what adults often can’t – they make a connection with a stranger. It might happen through sharing a dinosaur in the exploration area, digging a hole in the mining zone, creating a mud pie recipe in the outdoor kitchen, balancing on the outdoor gym, or taking the dolls for a walk in their pushchairs! They do this so naturally and it is a privilege to watch!

In 2037 we'll be inviting our new Reception pupils back for a catch up - I can't imagine where they'll be heading off to or what they'll be studying but I'm looking forward to hearing their future stories...

School Prefects

Congratulations to the following pupils who will be School Prefects for the coming year. This was based on interviews last term and their ability to live out our school values!

Ansen Amalanathan, Louie Clark-Waymouth, Hridhaan Gondaliya, Ethan Isherwood, Dhruv Patel, Ibrahim Sadiq, Jayan Shah, Sohum Shah and Kayan Varsani

House Leaders

I am also delighted to be able to announce that following speeches last term and voting, our House Leaders for the coming year will be:

Broadrick House

House Captains

Theodora Mogose & Krish Parmar

Vice House Captains

Jessica Shah & Faeez-Ur-Rahmaan Chaudhary

Hastings House

House Captain

Sophia Desai & Shiv Halai

Vice House Captain

Anaiya Patel & Ayaan Zaidi

Hopkins House

House Captains

Lavanya Arora & Ali Lalji

Vice House Captains

Kaiya Patel & Aman Chaudhry

Julian's House

House Captains

Aarya Bhalodia & Thomas Bartlett

Vice House Captains

Anya Kanji & Daniel Markham-Lee

This is always the most powerful season – returning from a break, rested and refreshed with endless possibilities ahead. It has been lovely catching up with so many parents through the various welcome meetings with more to follow in the coming weeks. It’s wonderful to have your children back in school…here’s to all that the coming term has to offer, welcome to Autumn 2023!

Tim Calvey