City of Norwich School

Headteacher's Message, Friday 21st July 2017

Today we reach the end of another school year and also the end of my eight year tenure as Headteacher of CNS. It doesn’t seem that long since I first stood in front my first teaching group (September 1977) in Ramsgate, Kent. So much has happened both personally and professionally during that time; education has changed dramatically and arguably the most in recent years.

I could write about all the initiatives and developments at CNS during my time, but on reflection, I decided to comment on what I believe underpins a good school and indeed life itself. Over the years, you develop values and beliefs which come from different experiences. Everyone who reads this and those who have been to open evenings or know me personally will be aware of the importance I place on ‘family’. It doesn’t matter what the make-up of that family is; those around you who you love and care for are the most important people in your life. Family is there to celebrate achievements, family is there to support you when you need them most and family is there to give a sense of perspective. Amongst the thousands of highlights in my life, at the very top is getting married and the birth of my sons: Family is very precious to me.

My ambition was always to make CNS a ‘family’ and nothing pleases me more when people made reference to CNS having that feel. It was the basis of introducing the House system in 2010 and one of the many reasons we joined Ormiston; families have the same values and outlook on life especially caring for each other.

After eight years leading CNS, the best compliment I can pay is that the past few years have been the most enjoyable of all my 40 years in education. Recently, I looked through the staff handbook from September 2009 and even I was surprised at the amount of change and development that has taken place since then: It’s easy to forget. Leading CNS comes with huge responsibilities, not just day-to-day like any other Headteacher in another school but looking after 107 years of history and an excellent reputation. It seems that everywhere I go I meet a former student of CNS, such is its influence. The appointment of Ms Philpott was perfect; CNS will continue to grow and flourish under her excellent leadership and I have no doubt that family values will remain central to the CNS ethos.

From September, I will be working for Ormiston supporting various schools both in the East and around the country. There are a couple of other Ormiston projects I will be involved in also, so I am really excited about my new role.

To finish where I started, I am looking forward to a family holiday in Devon in the second week of term with Carolyn, Richard and Robert with their respective girlfriends. I’ve waited 40 years for a holiday during term time so I think I deserve it.

Have a fantastic summer break and thank you for all your support and encouragement over the years.

Jim Nixon