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A very special place for pupils; As a new school year gets under way the Royal Grammar School's Headmaster, Dr Bernard Trafford, reviews his first year in post.

IQUICKLY learned that the RGS is indeed a special place, richly deserving its enormous reputation. Our exam results are outstanding by any measure, and our students go on to highly selective courses at the most sought-after universities.

Boys and girls come to the RGS expecting to achieve a great deal in the classroom: but they leave the school realising that the ethos of school life outside the classroom has been equally beneficial.

Breadth of opportunity; depth of achievement; unstinting support and care; a sense of fun; space to think and a buzz of excitement; the ethos of high expectation is palpable, both in and outside the classroom.

It's a relaxed and friendly place. Boys and girls discover (in their words) that they can "be what they want to be; try what they want to try". They are stimulated and motivated by the range of things they can find to do at school; they are challenged to do things that they haven't done before; and they are generally amazed by how much they achieve. Coming to school is fun.

The RGS is a school where teachers and students alike revel in being able to pursue their own passions, to inspire and be inspired, to make learning an adventure for everyone, trying out new ideas without fear of ridicule even when they get things wrong (and they should get things wrong, because that's part of the process of learning).

When everyone is engaged together on the same voyage of discovery, no-one's afraid of getting into difficulty, being called a swot, or of being made fun of for trying so hard: learning, taking risks, supporting and valuing one another, helping in the difficult times and embracing and celebrating success - all these are simply 'what we do'.

They are what make the RGS what it is, whether for a newly arrived seven-year-old or an Upper Sixth Former on the cusp of adulthood. I love it!

Dr Bernard Trafford was head of Wolverhampton Grammar School for 18 years and a recent past-Chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference(HMC). He joined the RGS last September.


HIGH ACHIEVERS Juniors of the Royal Grammar School chess teams enjoying a chess competition ABOVE The Newcastle RGS rugby squad show off the four trophies they won in an amazing seven days
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 23, 2009
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