From the Head’s Desk November 2010:

I am writing this in the final week of November and surprisingly for St. Bees at this time of year, it is bitterly cold and there is snow on the ground. Although many of our neighbouring schools have been closed due to the weather conditions, we have remained open and all the non-resident teaching staff have made it into school to ensure lessons have been unaffected.

At the start of the academic year, we welcomed into the St. Bees School community our first group of four, five and six year olds with the establishment of a Reception/Key Stage 1 class in our Preparatory Department. The kitchen area on the ground floor of School House was converted over the summer holidays to provide an attractive classroom space for these young pupils opposite the already established two older classes in the Preparatory Department. My wife, whose teaching expertise has always been in this age group, was appointed to take the class. To compensate the boarders on School House for their loss of a cooking facility, the area always known as B-Dorm was gutted and refurbished, also over the summer holidays, to provide an additional recreational space for the boarders. As well as this, a new, fitted-kitchen area has been created equipped with kettles, toasters, microwaves, ovens and hobs, so that hot food, drinks and snacks can be prepared by the boys at those times when they are overcome by hunger on house! If the youngest pupil in the Preparatory Department, Oliver, spends his entire educational career at St. Bees, he will be sitting his A levels (or their equivalent) in 2024!

The Golf Academy continues to thrive and the area behind School House where the golf studio is located has been set out as a practice putting area. The school’s golfers are taking full advantage of our own 9-hole course as well as experiencing other renowned local courses such as those at Silloth and Seascale.  The golf team has gone from strength-to-strength under the watchful eye of our PGA professional Stuart Hemmings and we were particularly pleased with its recent victory over Sedbergh in the summer term. The school is especially grateful for the support, both moral and financial, offered by the OSB Golf Society, which has enabled the development of the Golf Academy to advance very quickly over the past two years.

Now that both the junior boarding houses are based on Lonsdale Terrace, the future of Abbots Court is being discussed. The bursar is presently acting as guardian of the building by residing in the old HM’s accommodation and the various options for the building are being given serious consideration. It might provide facilities for a Pre-Prep Nursery offering childcare throughout the year or the base for short residential English courses which might be offered to overseas pupils throughout the year. No decisions have yet been taken.

However, we do hope to establish a Development Office in school in the very near future to promote good relationships between the school and its various stakeholders, which, of course, include the St. Beghian Society. We hope to work very closely with the OSB President, officers and committee to promote the work of the Society, particularly with regard to its support of the school. We already work closely with the OSB office as joint promoters of the biennial Autumn Ball and we hope that by utilising the resources of the Development Office, we can assist the Society to become even stronger. 
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year.

Philip Capes.

The St. Beghian Society,    St. Bees School,    St. Bees,    Cumbria,    CA27 0DS.
Tel: 01946 828093     Email: