I have lost count of the occasions when people have said to me that we are living in interesting times! Very few of us will have experienced anything like the last three months, but I have always had faith in human resilience and the maxim ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ has certainly held true throughout this lockdown.

There have been many examples of people and factories doing things they would never have thought of under normal circumstances – I don’t imagine many of us foresaw Formula One teams making ventilators. Schools have also led the way in finding new and inventive methods of providing education for our children despite the difficulties and restrictions. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these new ways of teaching will continue even after things have returned to normal.

Making Changes

Even SATIPS has had to develop new ways of working, with online meetings replacing our usual face to face discussions. Covid-19 prevented us from holding our usual courses, but an exciting programme of Webinars is being developed by Brenda Marshall. Full details of these will be coming to you shortly, but they include topics such as Online Resources; Improving Pupil Progress Through Highly Effective Marking and Feedback and The Changes to The CE Specifications for CE English At 13+

The beauty of Webinars is that they don’t require travel or absence from school and are also inexpensive since we don’t need to hire a venue to host them. This is perhaps an example of one of the good things to come out of the lockdown and is likely to be a permanent feature for the future.

Inevitably there have been some casualties to our usual programme of events. Sadly, this year’s Art Exhibition had to be cancelled along with some of our competitions, most notably the ski competition which I know is a highlight for many schools.

On a happier note some competitions did go ahead and were well supported. The handwriting competition attracted a large number of entries and congratulations go to all who took part. The judges, under the auspices of Amanda McLeod, were impressed by the high quality of the entries and eventually decided that The Gleddings were the overall winners.  On behalf of everyone at SATIPS, thank you for encouraging your pupils to enter and we look forward to receiving your entries in 2021.

The ever popular SATIPS Challenge this year attracted 31 schools in the Senior Challenge and 49 schools in the Junior section – over 2300 pupils took part. The top 50 in each section received Amazon vouchers as prizes. Many
congratulations to all those who took part, especially to the senior winner, Harry C (Westminster Under School) and to the junior winner Sam S (St. George’s Weybridge). This year’s scores were most impressive and confirm that our schools are producing some highly impressive, well rounded individuals.

We very much hope that we will run a full programme of competitions next year, so keep your eye open for details of SATIPSKI, the Poetry and Handwriting competitions, as well as the Challenge. Plans are well advanced for the 2021 Art Exhibition and we are hoping to organise at least one music festival.

Milestones

This year sees the publication of the 100th edition of Prep School Magazine and I know that the editor has invited some very erudite and respected educationalists to contribute articles. When it comes out in the New Year it will be a very entertaining and thought provoking read.

The editors of our termly 19 subject broadsheets are currently preparing their submissions in readiness for the Autumn Term edition. Our thanks, as ever, to this outstanding group of teachers who are always willing to share elements of best practice with colleagues around the country and internationally.

We are pleased to announce that we have recently appointed someone to ensure that our website is kept bang up to date and to also raise our profile generally. Ellen Manning is an experienced journalist covering news and features at national and regional level, and is now, amongst other things, a Freelance PR consultant and award-winning food blogger. She is very much looking forward to working with SATIPS and we are sure that you will soon notice her impact upon our website and within social media platforms.

SATIPS has established a group of ‘Preferred Suppliers’. These are companies and organisations that offer high quality services, and which have pledged to offer their very best prices to member schools. Full details of the ‘Preferred Suppliers’ are included in the specific link in our website and we do urge you to take advantage of the considerable savings on offer.

You will recall that the President of SATIPS, Richard Tovey MBE, wrote to you earlier in the term requesting that you send him any ‘magic moments’ which happen over the course of the term. These can be amusing, poignant or thought provoking, or indeed anything which is worth sharing. If you have any suitable item please email it to me at satipsgs@gmail.com and I will pass it on to him.

I hope that everyone has a super break over the summer and that it really does recharge batteries which have been much depleted over the course of this most challenging of terms. Let us hope that there is no ‘second wave’ and that we can return in September to a more normal school life.

Best wishes,
Bill Ibbetson-Price
General Secretary