Outlook Issue 20 Winter 2015
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Friends of St Mary’s
11 and the scene is different. Same age. Same gender spread. More colourful uniform and for grandparent substitute private tutor. But substitute marshmallow with mathematics. Children head down practising improper fractions. Minds closing and being closed on the altar of entrance exams. I have been fortunate in retirement to have led inspections across the world. In all types of school. Schools with packs of hounds; schools with armed guards in the playgrounds. Different race; different cultures; different aspirations. But in their souls the same children. Inspections ask two questions. About pupils’ level of achievement. About pupils’ level of personal development. And then how does the school support both with equal importance? How often at league table time do we browse the newspapers to look at A*-C grades, value added, or in years to come Progress 8? (Get ready for that, you young parents!) How rarely, if ever, do we give equal weight to personal development? Who the children are and have become, their confidence, their care for others, their awareness of the non-material aspects of life. Even the spiritual. In Tom Brown’s Schooldays, Squire Brown waved off his son on the stage coach to Rugby. Wiping away a tear, he remarked to himself, ‘I don’t care for Latin, or Greek, or participles. All I want is for my Tom to grow up a good Christian gentleman’. Just what we would all want for our sons, daughters and grand- children. For the young people in our congregation. And for those who are not. Stephen Cole Stephen Cole has recently retired after 21 years as headmaster of Woodbridge School. Now a lead inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate, he has led school inspections in Battersea, Brunei and the Caribbean. Friends of St Mary’s Boost for church porch Fundraising efforts to carry out much-needed building repairs at St Mary’s Church have received a timely boost in the form of a cheque for £12,500 from the Friends of St Mary’s. Friends Treasurer Michael Bizzey presented Rector Kevan McCormack with the cheque after the 10 o’clock service on a busy first Sunday in September. The cheque would make an important contribution towards the next phase of refurbishment, noted the Rector, which included more than £35,000 needed for repairs to the North Porch, which appropriately formed a backdrop to the presentation (pictured below).