This is the Headteacher's Blog which was first featured in issue 18 of The Burfordian, published on Wednesday, 19 July 2023.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” (Aristotle)
We celebrated the successes of the students in the Lower School at the Key Stage 3 Prizegiving on Tuesday 4 July. Individuals were recognised for demonstrating excellence in particular subjects and the full range of extensive activities on offer. Collective successes were also highlighted in Mr Wright’s Review of the Year which drew on events in the academic, sporting, outdoor, service and Arts arenas. A transcript of Mr Wright’s speech can be found here. A version of my speech is also available here.
'Heart' in the above quote from Aristotle, assuming the typical usage by the Greeks, has the broad meaning of character. The quote summarises the essence of the full education on offer at Burford and what we strive for and have strived for over the long history of the school. Indeed, Mr Glover, Headteacher at the time, reflecting on the contents of the 1988 Summer edition of the Burfordian wrote that the content "reflects a wholeness of educational experience and a readiness to acknowledge that results alone are an insufficient indicator of success”.
And so, it was with great joy that we welcomed Old Burfordian Courtney Allardice to speak to the winners at our Prizegiving. For never has the embodiment of the character we seek to foster been so evident. The gathered audience was treated to a light-hearted speech covering serious content about the values that have carried her through to success in her chosen field - Archaeology. Courtney stressed the respect she continues to have for the individuals who have supported her, teachers and family alike. She then detailed the importance of developing, alongside a personal passion, those skills and knowledge that are less easy to access. In particular, Courtney picked out how being involved in Drama at school has since enabled her to “perform” at conferences or on TV programmes. This is despite her specialism being very much a blend of History and Science. It was inspiring to hear how the variety of the curriculum she experienced here helped contribute to her personal development and in turn to achieve at such a high level in her work.
With Courtney’s words in mind, I urge students in Years 10 and 12 to get good rest, yet maintain a balance of intellectual, physical and spiritual activities, throughout the summer break. This will allow them to start the busy year ahead well. It is the endeavour outside the classroom that significantly impacts levels of personal success.
Finally, I would like to thank all staff and governors for their continued support of the students and the wider school. It has been a fantastic year.
I wish you all the very best for the summer.