We near the end of a long term which as always presents its challenges as well as its many opportunities. Alongside a term of hard work, we can be thankful for the many wonderful events which have taken place alongside normal lessons such as our annual Charity Week in support of WaterAid, House Drama won by De Grey, a full and varied sporting programme of fixtures, and the Autumn and Christmas Concerts to name but a few. For those families not on our doorstep there is always the chance to catch up on all our achievements and reports into everyday school like via RGS News News - Ripon Grammar School or via our YouTube channel https://youtu.be/UgJOHEs07g4. Tomorrow, we will have our wonderful Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in Ripon Cathedral - never an event to be missed and all parents are warmly invited to join us for 7.30pm. The Friends of Ripon Grammar School are kindly serving refreshments beforehand.
In staff news we started the year with a number of new staff in post and some familiar faces are in new roles. Mr Bob Walker has taken on leading the Careers Department with his customary energy and dedication and Mrs Keelan Edwards, as deputy head pastoral and DSL, has worked hard to ensure our systems and monitoring remains a strong component of our pastoral care. Please do look out for our safeguarding bulletins which will contain much useful information for parents.
At the end of this term Dr Grime steps down as Head of Chemistry and Head of Science after a distinguished 16 years on the post. Fortunately we will not be losing Dr Grime’s considerable skills as a teacher and form tutor as he will be staying on in the chemistry department and in January he will be joined by Mr Chris Shortman as Head of Chemistry who is currently faculty leader for A Level Chemistry at Henry Fanshaw School, Dronfield.
I am also very pleased to welcome Dr Ruth Smith to the staff of Ripon Grammar School as Duke of Edinburgh Award Co-ordinator. Dr Smith is also known to us as a past parent, so some of you will have met her already, and I know she is looking forward to advancing the cause of DofE at the School.
There is no doubt the future remains an uncertain one as we continue to face the cost of living crisis full on. At RGS energy prices in particular have stretched budgets thin and will continue to do so in the months ahead. We have responded with energy saving measures as best we can, reducing both our gas and electricity usage considerably by efficiencies and targeted deployment. Necessity has very much been the mother of invention in this regard as we adjust to a future when we can no longer take cheap energy for granted. We will continue to do as much as we can to minimise the impact this has on students’ education at RGS. Inevitably there may need to be some compromises and your ongoing support will be very much appreciated. It is wise to never take anything for granted.
At this point I would like to thank the work of the Friends of Ripon Grammar School whose hard work is doing so much to raise much needed funds for school. In particular the Friends Ball in November was a wonderful opportunity for parents and staff to come together at the Old Swan in Harrogate. The evening was a great success, and though the exact total raised is yet to be finalised, there are rumours such an event might become a regular occasion in the future.
Despite the gloom of financial worries and the added pressures of an Ofsted inspection regime which seems to have visited every school in the region but ours, we have lots to look to look forward into the New Year. It was pleasing to be awarded the title ‘top performing school in the North’ for the 10th year in succession by the Sunday Times last weekend. Let’s hope we can continue that success as our Years 13 and 11 prepare for their mock examinations next term and for the ‘real thing’ in the summer.