his-master-voiceHeadmaster’s Voice

Welcome back.  Like many people, I enjoyed watching and hearing stories about the London Marathon last weekend.  I’ve always been fascinated with physical and mental challenges.  Physical change is apparent at Stoneygate.

Over the Easter break decorators continued with their rolling programme of improvement- this time they concentrated on the front of the old building and the stable block.  Painting this entire site will be a marathon effort…but we’ve started.  Unfortunately a diseased tree had to be felled (with many teachers feeling the tremor in the staff room) and BT technicians finally reached the IT room.

This year the London Marathon was named ‘the Mental Health Marathon’ due to the “Heads Together” campaign fronted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.  The statistics relating to this issue are shocking. One in ten children between  5 and 16 years old suffer with depression, anxiety or conduct disorder, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Research suggests that more than 50% of all cases involving youths begin before the age of 14.  Prince Harry and Prince William should be applauded for their openness on this topic.


Sport can play an important part in addressing mental health issues; sport at Stoneygate will continue to thrive.  This week we welcomed Little Bowden, Arnseby and Houghton-on-the-Hill primary schools to a skills based coaching session in football and netball.


Several papers commented on Matthew Rees, who stopped to help a fellow runner cross the line.  I’m always proud of the way Stoneygate pupils behave.  I was delighted to see pupils from Years 7 & 8 encouraging and helping pupils from the local primary schools in our sports workshop; I’m also proud, but not surprised, at how we have welcomed several new pupils.


The London marathon also has ‘surprise stories’. A self-coached student who travelled by London Underground to the start line produced one of the biggest shocks of recent London Marathon history on Sunday, finishing as the fastest Briton to secure an unlikely place at the World Championships this summer.

Attempting the first marathon of his life, Josh Griffiths, 23, was not even part of the elite field and started behind the leading athletes with his fellow club runners.

Anonymous to most spectators thanks to the number 1154 on his bib – unlike the elite runners, whose names adorned their chest – Griffiths slowly gained ground on various Olympians and seasoned international runners, passing the overwhelming majority and crossing the line in some disbelief in a time of two hours 14 minutes and 49 seconds to finish 13th overall.

Fastest British finisher Josh Griffiths of Swansea Harriers

Stoneygate pupils often surprise me.  One of the highlights of this week was handing over a riding trophy to Ophelia (Y2)..’Champion of Champions’.  Congratulations.


Marathons are hard work, exhausting, but ultimately rewarding.  (I should know I competed in the Stockholm Marathon a few years ago!)  Stoneygate too, can be hard work, exhausting, but ultimately rewarding….

Enjoy the Bank holiday weekend,

Mr Dobson