Ah, Peters and Lee. Hardly Lennon and McCartney, but as good as I could find by way of a welcome, and welcome back to the start of the new academic year.

And it’s not just more  - although admittedly a bit - cheesy 1970s self-indulgence. It’s because coming to Park House does feel like home. Somewhere where a ‘family’ of students, staff and parents and carers can come together as one community with a common set of values and purpose.

This spirit is nowhere better reflected in the atmosphere on A Level and GCSE Results Days in Mid-August. They are special because members’ achievements are proudly celebrated  in the context of all that is known about the ups and downs, the great times and the tougher times that define the collective experiences of any family over a five or seven year period together. And this year was no exception.

‘It’s a lovely sunny day!’ That was my first response to the Newbury Weekly News Interviewer‘s question about how I was feeling on A Level Results Day on 15 August. Because in every sense it was...


a level results photo
A level results photoA level results photo

And ‘it’s another beautiful morning!’ was my follow up a week later to the same interviewer with the same question. Because once again, it was...


Of course, results days are inevitably a point when some of the oldest members of the family leave us to move on to the next stage, exciting stage in their learning journey.

But on Wednesday we had the very special experience of welcoming our newest ones!

It has become a Park House tradition that we aim to make a special day in any young person’s life a truly unforgettable one. On Wednesday great friend of Park House, the incomparable double Paralympic Swimming Gold Medalist Graham Edmunds inspired our new Year 7s on their first morning with us through his story of courage and determination in recovering from a devastating motorcycle accident in his twenties to become one of the greatest Paralympians of his generation…

Graham Edmunds
Graham Edmunds
Graham Edmunds

Conor McManus, on his first day, captured the impact magnificently in his post-Assembly reflections...

‘I was inspired by Graham Edmunds because he was courageous. He showed me to never have a lack of perseverance and no matter how down you feel life will always get better. The resilience he showed was amazing, because he didn’t settle with one gold medal he worked hard for another. Even if I come 10th in a race the feeling is amazing so I can’t  even imagine what he was feeling. Listening to him makes me want to go and accomplish my dreams.’

Welcome to the family.