Welcome from our new Headteacher
I very much hope that you are safe and well, and have had an enjoyable summer holiday. I have spent the break here in Jersey with my wife, children and spaniel, during which it has been great to chat to many of our Victoria College students around the Island. As ever I am struck by how well they represent themselves, their politeness and their courtesy. I hope all the boys, whether existing students or new starters, have had a good break and are ready for the year ahead.
I write to you as I officially take on the role of Headteacher of Victoria College for the 2021-22 academic year. When I first started out in this richly rewarding vocation of education as a teacher of Geography in an Oxfordshire boarding school, school leadership seemed a world away. However, I have always had the desire to help young people develop and succeed, and 13 years later this desire has led me to the wonderful opportunity of leading this prestigious school. I am hugely proud to lead the fantastic team of staff and I can promise you I will do my very best to make Victoria College the best it can be, and to support and represent its community at every opportunity.
Positive relationships are the key to a happy and successful community, one that puts children first and ensures that each and every student fulfills their potential, and feels valued. Developing our relationship with you as parents is vital. You have a number of opportunities to engage in the year ahead, including Parent Information Evenings, Parent-Teacher events, upcoming parental forums, school surveys and many more. However, if you need advice or feel something is not quite right, please be reassured that you can and should reach out to us. My team and I are here to listen. I hope to chat to you at the front gate in the mornings, on the sidelines of sports fixtures, at music and drama events, at academic evenings and many others in the year ahead. My door is open, as are my ears…
I hope your sons will take a huge amount of enjoyment during their time at Victoria College. In addition to fostering excellent added value to your son’s education in the areas of academic results, co-curricular opportunities and personal development, our school should be a place of camaraderie, lightness of spirit and fun. After a very challenging 18 months for everyone, I hope we can all laugh together a little more this academic year, and rediscover and build the Victoria College spirit. On the tone of happiness, I am very keen to celebrate the achievements of all of our boys, so please do let us know if your sons have done things they are proud of, in whatever field, so we can collectively recognise and reward their efforts.
Please watch out for some key operational information on the start of term in the next few days, ahead of the return of the boys to College on Wednesday 8th September. At this stage I ask two few things of you. First, please remind your sons, as my team and I will do on their first day and regularly thereafter, of their obligation as a Victoria College student to behave with kindness, courtesy and empathy towards others within our community and beyond. We must be an inclusive school that celebrates and respects difference. Our students are our greatest ambassadors and I expect them to be represent themselves and the College to the very highest of standards. Nothing gives me greater pride than a member of the public emailing to commend one of our boys on their actions around the Island. Secondly, please check that your sons have the right uniform, games kit and their hair is tidy, which will help to reinforce those high standards. Our uniform guide is available here.
I look forward to meeting you all, especially the parents of our new joiners in Year 7 and in other year groups. You are most welcome to our very special community that will only strengthen in the months and years ahead. I am available to be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will do my best to help directly, or to ensure one of my well-placed colleagues will do so.
To finish, Victoria College is a wonderful school, and one that staff, students, parents and Old Victorians should be proud to be a part of. There is work to do, of course, and there will be challenging moments in the year ahead. If we approach such challenges with patience, purpose, understanding and kindness then we will not only overcome them, we and the boys that we are all here for, will thrive as a result.
Dr Gareth J A Hughes