On so many evenings like this I return home from a performance at school bursting with pride that my offspring have been lucky enough to attend their school.

Tonight it was a short performance for the Friends of the school (and parents of the performers). There were several dance performances and a couple of music presentations plus an excerpt from a recent gender-blind Henry V. Oh my, but they were good. Everyone did themselves proud and we had a taste of a disco revival that took me back to being a teenager. T’s about time we had more cheerful music. And I managed to chuck sparkling wine all over the new Chair of the Governors, who was extremely gracious about the whole incident.

MsDD has, as you know, given up her ballet lessons this year to concentrate on her academic studies. Heartbreaking though that was, she’s now a member of the senior dance troupe at school (troupe is an odd word, isn’t it, like you wouldn’t want to take it seriously?) and they performed a fantastically professional modern dance piece based around themes of judgement and isolation. I’m so glad that she has managed to carry on her dance as it’s been such an important part of her life until now.

There was a powerful and beautifully-choreographed dance presentation from a Year 10 boy. It’s such a courageous decision of the school to start running a GSCE Dance course when schools all around seem to be deciding that any subject apart from Maths and Sciences is not worthwhile pursuing. Goodness, I’ve heard of so many horror stories where local schools don’t do any music.

Indeed in our local top achieving super-selective state schools in the country (where people start tutoring their children at 4 for the entrance exam – I have seen this with my own eyes ) – one for many months had virtually no music department and the other ¬†initially refused to run an A level course in SPANISH. Because Science and Maths are the only subjects that count for anything, apparently. It’s utterly ridiculous.

It’s been our firm belief for many, many years that there is more to life than academic excellence. It’s important for those who are able to achieve it, yes, but education is all about the nurturing of a confident, interesting, well-rounded character, able to express their creativity and explore the emotional as well as the rational facets of their personality. This, and the fact that it was academically excellent and co-educational, were the most important factors in our choice of school.

MsDD faced an embarrassment of creative options as GSCE choices: though neither we nor the school would not have encouraged this, she could potentially have chosen to do GSCEs in Music, Drama, Art and Dance. Just imagine for a moment how lovely that could be!

Anyway, I think I’m rambling so I’ll stop there. Goodnight.