Welcome from the new Head, Robin Dyer
After 17 years of school leadership and 33 years of teaching, the plan to retire to Cornwall and the South of France was appealing. The plan, when implemented, lasted only two days. Why? The answer is simple: I was lucky enough to be asked to be the Head of this wonderful school; when the offer was made it was, as they say, a 'no brainer'. It is an opportunity I approach with enormous excitement. On its best day, Ampleforth leads the way in education in this country and I want those best days to be the norm.
Ampleforth’s charms are immediate and difficult to resist. The College itself is stunning beyond compare, with the Abbey at its core and set in the beautiful valley. Once you have absorbed the surroundings, you cannot help but be infused with the ethos, traditions and the history of the College, which are grounded in the Benedictine values that are central to the culture of this place. We can of course interpret the words as we wish, but the values of the school are central to all that we do. For my part, I trust that all staff are attentive to the needs and demands of all students and parents, and furthermore that students are properly attentive to their own needs and those of others. I trust that staff are hospitable to students and parents as is appropriate, and that students have a social life that is warm and friendly. I trust that staff take responsibility for the learning and welfare of all students, good stewardship is vital in a boarding environment. I trust that staff respect students and parents and in turn be respected for their efforts, and that students respect their environment, their opportunity to learn and grow and, most importantly, each other. Finally, I trust that as a result of this approach the community as a collective, and as individuals, will have integrity and a sense of happy equilibrium. These values are indeed a Compass for Life, when properly lived minute by minute, and day by day; this has been tried and tested successfully for the benefit of generations of Amplefordians.
My commitment to this community, while I am its Head, is that we will strive, with clear leadership, energy and resolve, to reconnect with these values so that we truly live them. It is imperative that we embrace change where it is needed, but these values do not alter and I know that reconnecting with them will ensure that the problems of the recent past will become a distant memory. It is a very exciting time for the College, having learned from mistakes of the past, it can look out upon an educational vista, inspired by the richness, breadth and depth of the Benedictine values. In turn each student is able to fulfil their academic potential, to explore to the full the extraordinary co-curricular opportunities of this boarding environment, and to acquire through excellent pastoral support and spiritual guidance, greater self-awareness, confidence, resilience and empathy for others. This will be an extraordinary journey for each Amplefordian; it is the joy of being a teacher that you can, working closely with parents and other staff, create and witness an almost magical transformation. This is our mission.
Ampleforth College provides a unique educational opportunity that genuinely provides for students a compass that will remain their guide for life.
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