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The Final Monday! It could be the title of an action movie.
But for me (and my Deputy Mrs Marshall) these last three days of term - and our time at Kings – mark the final staff briefing meeting, the final duty, the final detention - and so many other end of eras. Not least, driving through the Station Road gates ready for a new school day.
It has been a great honour and privilege to lead The Kings of Wessex Academy and more recently the Wessex Learning Trust for almost 23 years. Over that time, I have known thousands of young people, many of whom are parents themselves now and part of the education cycle and I am grateful to many, many people who have been so supportive and encouraging. All the staff who have been part of Kings for their dedication and commitment, the Governing Body for their wisdom and advice and other friends of Kings; as well as our parents for their support behind the scenes, in our shared goal to get the best out of every student.
Education has been a huge part of my life and I am so happy to think I have spent nearly a quarter of a century here. I am so proud of all that we have achieved for countless young people over the years. They are the future in our globally competitive, technologically savvy world and I wish them every success and hope that they will remember their time at Kings in helping to make them who they are:
I thank you, our students, for your contributions to Kings and for making it such a happy and memorable place to study (and work!). I will certainly miss walking round the school and my conversations with students and seeing the world through their eyes.
Indeed, whilst I write, some of our Year 12 students are visiting Cambridge University today and tomorrow as part of the HE+ programme for high achieving students. Our participation in this project has inspired many students to think big and beyond and the best.
More Year 12 students are also flying high on the Geography and Biology trip to Iceland this week. As a Geographer, I know that they will have an amazing experience in this fascinating and beautiful country that I hope to visit myself one day (when I am retired!).
So, it has been a real pleasure working with you and looking ahead to the next stage of the journey for Kings, I feel very confident that Kings will be in safe hands with Mr Ball and his new Deputies, Mr Edwards and Miss Hunt.
My best wishes for the future.
Next time… will be with Mr Ball in September!