A Farewell from Dr Katy Ricks

‘Fare forward, voyagers’

It’s been a pleasure in these last few weeks at Sevenoaks to witness the completion of another year for our students, this one marked by the opening of our new centre for Science and Technology and the Global Study Centre, which has won a RIBA national award for architecture. An Old Sennockian of the 1960s a few days ago put the question to me: ‘What would we have achieved with these facilities?’ No question, but the educational life of the school is invigorated by these award-winning facilities.

Sevenoaks is indeed now one of the most successful schools in the country, one of the most sought-after IB schools in the world. Achievement in any school is always a huge team effort – governors, trustees, leadership team, teachers, gardeners, technicians, finance and IT experts, and of course students, past and present – and their parents; the role of Head is primarily providing the climate in which the team can flourish. I’ve really enjoyed contributing in the classroom: teaching an IB class every year for my Sevenoaks year as Head has been a continuous delight.

It’s given me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction to see these different groups working together to create such an imaginative and open-minded institution. The intellectual and creative spirit of the school has grown; the campus has become more coherent and more beautiful.

Theresa Homewood, who has been for 39 years at Sevenoaks, and Senior Deputy for many years, is going to be at the helm next year. She, with the rest of the senior management team and the whole teaching staff, will ensure that Sevenoaks continues to move from strength to strength.

If you’ve been to Leavers' Day you’ll know I always quote TS Eliot on that farewell occasion: ‘Not fare well, but fare forward, voyagers ‘.

We all look to the future and the continuing advancement of the school you have contributed to.

Katy Ricks, 2019