Itook up my post here in summer 2016, just as my younger stepson left MCS and headed off to Magdalene College Cambridge. By that point I had been an MCS parent for eight years, so I already knew the transformative power of an MCS education.

This might sound like the opening of a story of established educational privilege, and in some ways perhaps it is.  That this might be my story at all is however surprising to me.  In 1991 I came up to Christ Church from a Northern Comprehensive, the first person in my family to go to University.  I played cricket on the grounds MCS shares with my old College. If you had told me back then that I’d become Master of the school across the meadow, I’d never have believed it. There is something of the ‘low door in the wall’ about this place, and we draw much from the innovative tradition of our founding spirit. Oxford was the making of me, and I hope that coming to MCS might be the making of you.

You might be feeling some trepidation about starting Senior School, but I am sure that these are years you will look back on fondly. While you will naturally direct your energies into academic lessons,  just as importantly you will play sport, perform on stage, play instruments or take part in one of our many clubs and societies, shaping the interests and passions which will see you through to our Sixth Form and far beyond.

It doesn’t matter if you have attended MCS since you were seven, or if you are the only person from a primary school miles away: the Senior School is a fresh start for everyone. And by the end of September, it always feels as though everyone has been here forever, so don’t worry.  These are precious years that I hope you will treasure forever.

Helen Pike