Dear Parents and Carers,
With school now closed for the Easter holidays, I wanted to thank you for your support this term, and to wish you a very Happy Easter. This is such a hopeful time of the year, and this holiday pause gives us time to reflect on another very successful term.
At a time when discourse structures nationally and globally are unforgiving and combative, I am immensely proud of the example our students set on a daily basis; as I frequently say, I am highly optimistic of a world that they will lead. Ofsted noted this recently when they inspected our boarding provision, writing in their report that “Christian values of love, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, truthfulness, joy, peace and giving permeate through students and staff”.
Schools must set this example, and we remain determined that ours should be a kind and caring community that celebrates diversity – our ‘Steyning Family’; Ofsted described this at SGS as ‘not merely an acceptance of each other, but rather a celebration of equality, diversity and what it means to be human growing up in different cultures”. Thank you to all our staff, parents and carers for living out this expectation so successfully in our school, day in, day out, to enable our students to flourish.
There are many rites of passage at Steyning Grammar School that students remember fondly, including our great fundraising days such as Pink Day and Sixth Form Jailbreak. Another would be the Easter and Christmas Church services when our community stops to reflect; I found our Easter services this year profoundly moving, optimistic and re-energising, as Easter reflections should be.
We are delighted that one rite of passage, being taught in temporary accommodation at the Shooting Field campus, is coming to an end. Planning has been submitted for a state of the art new classroom block that will ensure all the Steyning Grammar School ‘huts’ have been removed within a year, and every student has access to the best possible learning environment. Thank you to everyone who has supported this bid and we anticipate the new classrooms opening in the New Year.
Whilst former students (frequently now parents of current students) remember learning in these same huts with wry grins, we are proud of our forward thinking curriculum with developing character at the core, preparing SGS students for their exciting futures, and pleased that all our learning spaces will now match that ambition. Indeed, we are launching our Development campaign, SGS 2025 – ‘Changing the Future’, to ensure our buildings across our campus match the aspirations of our teaching and learning.
Many students will be working hard over this holiday break, preparing for exams next term. I have talked to students about the difference between hard work and stress; there is no short cut to achieving your full potential, and there are times such as these when we need to just get our heads down and get on with revision. I trust however that Easter will provide those breaks, treats and motivations that are needed to keep our mental health resilient in such times.
On behalf of all at Steyning Grammar School I wish you the happiest Easter and thank you for the support you give to our school.
With kind regards,