City of Norwich School

Headteacher's Message, Friday 21st April

After an excellent Easter break, it was great to drive into school Tuesday morning. As I’ve mentioned before, the sight of the old main school building as you enter the grounds is always a fantastic way to start the day; I never tire of it. I’ve always loved old buildings, they might present issues but they have so much character and at CNS, such a building says much about the school in relation to its history and strength.

When I walk through the front door I often think that previous leaders of CNS have taken that exact same route for over a century the first being Mr W.H.Gurley, in 1910 who was the ‘Headmaster’ of what was then a Grammar School and left in 1929. At the opening ceremony, The Lord Mayor (Dr.E.E.Blyth) said in response to some criticism regarding the cost of the buildings, “I firmly believe the time will come when all will agree that in the provision of this school the best, truest, and wisest economy has been exercised, for it is impossible to over-rate the paramount importance of education.” In 1914 there were 487 students on roll; quite a few less than the current 1570 (the highest number on roll was in 2008/9 with 1730). I wonder if even he would have realised the impact that CNS would still be having on the lives of the young people in Norwich 107 years later.

The principle that ‘quality lasts’ applies as much to education as it does to material goods. I am told that one of the most popular and effective ways to market a product is to use the word ‘new’. In education however, I personally, always look for a school’s track record and history to judge not only its effectiveness but also its ethos and culture. Schools with a long and distinguished history like CNS, are constantly looking to develop and improve with initiatives based on a strong foundation, one that is centred on the need of the individual child. Students at CNS 107 years ago had very different life experiences to those who attend today but the basics are still the same; they are young people with great potential who need to be supported, stretched and cared for so that they can fulfil their true potential in the field of their choice.

Have a great weekend.

Jim Nixon