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Christmas may be around the corner, but the focus this week has been on mock GCSE Maths and Art exams and mock A Level Photography. Sixth Form EPQ presentations have also been a key part of the week, as girls presented the culmination of hours of individual research on topics linked to their intended degree. The chosen topics have been truly fascinating and have included:  Internet censorship in China; the future for road transport since  the introduction of driverless vehicles and an examination of the links between increased use of social media and teenagers seeking counselling.

Adolescent mental health is a topic very much at the fore at the moment and one I am passionate about. I was delighted therefore, to have the opportunity to speak at the Equality and Diversity in Schools Education Conference yesterday and to share my many years of experience in working with teenagers and best practice ideas that can be utilised.  I was both honoured (and slightly fearful) of taking the stage alongside Professor Tanya Byron, renowned consultant clinical psychologist specialising in child and mental health.

Professor Byron outlined the many complex issues surrounding teenage mental health and talked about the importance of government green paper to be launched on Sunday by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.   In turn, I spoke about how important it is for schools to enable every child to be comfortable in their own skin and the rewards of seeing a teenager blossom and thrive despite the complexities of adolescence.

Yesterday’s Second Form parents’ evening was an important opportunity for us to share feedback with you on your daughter’s progress within and outside of the classroom and equally to hear feedback from you, which we always welcome.

Meanwhile, the Community Choir has been in rehearsal ready for next Thursday’s Celebration of Christmas evening; and many thanks to our Gap students who have created their very own Christmas tree challenge for boarders, who will be enjoying a special Christmas supper tonight. A happy weekend to you all,

Tracy Kirnig