One of our school aims is to develop boys and young men of excellent character. The other is to challenge and support each boy to achieve the highest levels of academic progress.
Newcastle School for Boys’ character compass points to the six key virtues we promote in our boys’ personal development. Captured in the compass and in the mnemonic ‘CIRCLE’, the first C is for community. As a school, we appreciate the benefits we derive from our relationships in the local community as well as recognising our obligations to serve that community. We seek to develop those same senses of appreciation and duty in our pupils.
This Saturday I was reminded just how important and valuable our community links are.
It started with our senior rugby fixtures held at Northern (rugby) Football Club’s ground - a mile or so from the School. We played three successful fixtures there against Emmanuel College, Gateshead and a team from Northern. We continue to enjoy an excellent relationship with Northern FC (along with other clubs too) where many of our boys play their club rugby and whose pitches and facilities we enjoy throughout the week.
The day concluded with an inaugural joint concert for our senior and junior choirs and performers with the St Nicholas Cathedral choirs held at All Saints’ Church in Gosforth. There were many highlights including our head boy’s Chopin piano recital and the School’s and Cathedral’s choirs combining to sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
Our relationship with Newcastle’s Cathedral is a unique one. It provides the opportunity for our boys to become cathedral choristers and sees NSB as the only school in the city offering choral scholarships for boys aged 7 to 13.
We also enjoy a strong link with All Saints’, Gosforth who host a number of our services during the year and whom we hope will shortly be providing us with some chaplaincy.
Saturday didn’t end with the concert. Most of the performers and audience – along with many others from the School - went to the home of Newcastle School for Boys’ cricket at South Northumberland Cricket Club for their sell-out annual fireworks’ display.
In the few hours between the rugby and the concert, I headed back to my study at The Grove to catch up on correspondence at a time when you might expect the school buildings would have been empty. Not a bit of it. The Newcastle Mandarin Chinese School who use our Senior School every Saturday was in full swing. On Sundays, The Grove is opened for use by Christ Church, Gosforth.
A busy Saturday with much to enjoy but one that wouldn’t have provided the opportunities and enjoyment for our boys and others without the community relationships NSB enjoys and supports.
David Tickner tweets @NSB_Headmaster