12/12/2016

2016: annus horribilis/mirabilis...


Queen Elizabeth "annus horribilis" by lemondefr

1992 was, infamously, our Queen's annus horribilis...

A year which saw the Prince Charles separate from Diana, and her subsequent, sensational portrayal in Andrew Morton's iconoclastic biography. The Princess Royal divorced. Sarah Ferguson, the Duke of York's freshly estranged wife, was all over the tabloids and to cap all that familial trauma, Windsor Castle almost burned down on the fortieth anniversary of her reign.

2016 has surely been that for much of the wider world.   A year so bad, as journalist Owen Jones recently pointed out, that it's become an adjective. 'Oh, how 2016!'

The loss of so many cultural and media icons...

David Bowie
Terry Wogan

The long and bitter shadow cast by the Brexit debate...

Brexit

Unimaginable atrocities...

Atrocities

And the unedifyingly adversarial spectacle of the US Presidential Election, and its potentially  - and equally - unpalatable aftermath...

Trump vs Clinton

Thank goodness then for the day to day experience of life and work here at Park House, where by contrast we have enjoyed something of an annus mirabilis…

Identification by Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Education, as one of the country’s  top 100 state schools for year on year improvement in top GCSE results>>>

Becoming the country’s first Active Movement School, in recognition of our promotion of healthy lifestyles…

Active Movement

A superb Ofsted Inspection in March>>>

Our best ever GCSE results in the summer…

GCSE Results Park House School 2016

And just last week one of only six schools in the country to receive inaugural TeenTech Gold status for, in the words of BBC presenter and competition founder Maggie Philbin, 'your students have reached out beyond your own school to spread the word about careers in science and technology and shared their experiences with other schools and/or companies'…

TeenTech Gold Award

But beside the achievements and the accolades, which are of course important and welcomed, it's about something deeper. It's about a collective spirit. An identity. A community bound together by shared values and expressed in great relationships between students and staff... and above all energised by the joy, exuberance, optimism and potential of youth.

So here’s to 2017... Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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