Founder’s Day

Published 1 July 2024

Last Wednesday 19 June, our school gathered for the annual St Bart’s Founder’s Day Assembly.  When people come to visit our school, they enter a 21st Century building buzzing with energy and up-to-date technology.  Yet, it is now 558 years since the founding of our school. This was a time when the War of the Roses was raging in England and Edward 4th was the King of England!

Dr Fitter spoke to the students about how, as we reflect on our history, we are reminded that the school is so much more than our buildings; it is made up of those who have been part of its history. He spoke of three key members of our school community that exemplify this idea. Firstly, John King, who sadly died earlier this year, and who had positively impacted countless people through his selfless commitment to St Bart’s over many years. Dr Fitter also mentioned Mike Hart, another member of staff who committed an entire career to St Bart’s and who set up the link between Curnock House and Newbury Cancer Care. This connection has endured and, as reported in BartholoNews, this year, Curnock celebrated raising £100,000 for Newbury Cancer Care. Finally, students were reminded that we are about to say farewell to Mrs Eastman, who is retiring after 44 years of service to the St Bart’s community and will leave an amazing legacy of inspiring countless students to cook with confidence and lead healthy and fulfilled lives.

The school then heard from Mr Cussen (teacher and alumni) about Pride Month. Mr Cussen spoke of pride as the antidote to shame and the importance of celebrating Pride Month together.  He encouraged students to challenge shaming or discriminatory language or to talk to someone who can, such as teachers. Mr Cussen told students that we can create a school environment where everyone is respected for who they are, regardless of their identities, and that this collective effort requires continual ally-ship and human kindness.

Finally, our new Head Student team (2024-25), Charlotte, Sam, William, Eve and Milo, introduced themselves to those assembled. They affirmed their commitment to making the school the best it can be, and to working with the whole student body to achieve that goal. Their core message was that they want to listen to students’ views. We can’t wait to see what they achieve!