We have a wonderful opportunity to move Knighton forwards following a glowing piece in the Good Schools’ Guide and being judged excellent by the recent ISI Inspection Report. Knighton is undoubtedly in a good place. However, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels and be complacent.

The question I have asked myself since arriving at Knighton in the summer is whether the girls are intellectually and emotionally prepared for the world in which they will be a part of in the future and expect to be contributors to; a world which will have undoubtedly changed substantially in ten years’ time by the time many of them reach adulthood. Are we really forward thinking enough? Are we brave enough to steer the school away from its traditional course whilst retaining so much of what is special about Knighton? I feel the timing is perfect to look at how we are teaching and what we are teaching with a view to designing an academic curriculum and co-curricular programme to make sure Knighton is a leader in its field. We are a prep school which educates girls and we should be proud of this.

Additionally, Knighton has an opportunity to move with the times with the senior school admissions landscape changing as an increasing number of them now pre-assess children in Year 6, sometimes early in Year 7. Senior schools in London and the south-east of England have been adopting this practice for years now. It’s reaching the ‘shires’ as well so we need to adapt our approach to make sure our girls are suitably prepared for what’s ahead of them.

In today’s world the pressure on young people to get a job which suits their skills remains as challenging as it has always been, if not tougher in 2017. In the younger generation’s modern world fixated by celebrity culture, the unrealism of some TV docu-drama programmes (so far from reality it isn’t true), and a desire to instantaneously communicate every minutiae of their lives to each other, many employers rightly lament the lack of skills being learned, particularly “soft skills”. Education it could be argued has evolved very little: Exams are still taken at different points in a child’s schooling; they continue to be taken on paper despite the availability of technology; schools focus on results (those who protest otherwise are kidding us all); and children still learn in classroom spaces which haven’t changed very much at all over the years.

Knighton feels ready for what lies ahead. The Good Schools Guide’s commented: “Is there magic in the air (at Knighton)? Yes”.