Page 5 - Independent Schools Magazine
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England v Italy Six Nations Rugby
Eddie Jones, England head coach, said his players had been ‘shocked’ by the Italians’ controversial tactics of not engaging in rucks after a home player had been tackled during their Six Nations Rugby encounter at Twickenham at the end of last month (February). The absence of an offside line allowed Italy’s defenders to stand beside England players as they attempted to pass the ball, prompting boos from the crowd. Only after half-time, with the Italians well ahead, did the home side appear to work out what to do and recover to win comfortably.
The controversy inspired Mark Mortimer, Headmaster of Warminster School, Wiltshire, to address his next assembly on the theme...
...‘No plan survives contact with the enemy’
For the past twenty years, my mother and I have been engaged
in a continuous competition to see which of us can get the most letters published in the broadsheet press (and no, we don’t get out much). I am delighted to tell you that I am currently leading, with thirteen,
the vast majority of which have appeared in The Daily Telegraph.
In January, the Independent Schools Council (ISC) published the  ndings of recent research into the mental toughness of independent school pupils*. In part, the research was prompted by our sector’s belief in the importance of a rounded education. In an accompanying press article, and as the headmaster of a participating school, I was quoted as saying:
Sadly, based on the amount of
feedback I receive, no-one reads
any of them. That has changed,
however, with my most recent
effort, about the performance of
the England rugby team against
Italy in this year’s Six Nations
tournament. Like millions more, I
suspect, I watched with fascination
at the  ummoxed reaction of many
of the England players to Italy’s
innovative and rarely-used tactics.
Some of them – and remember that
these are top level, experienced,
professional sportsmen – clearly
didn’t know the laws and were
reduced to pleading with the
referee for advice; behaviour that
prompted the memorable response,
“I am a referee, not a coach.”
*Summary of the report was contained in February’s ISM - still available at:
“Of course, exam results matter, but not as much as the qualities that allow pupils to leave school able to thrive, both professionally and personally, in the  uid, ever-changing and let-go world of the 21st century. Emotional intelligence, reaction to failure, leadership, perseverance, resilience and the ability to improvise
on one’s feet and introduced
the pupils to a famous quote, regularly emphasised to me when I was an army of cer, by the 19th century  eld marshal, Helmuth von Moltke: “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”
can only guess. So actually, what matters more is how you react to setbacks and failures. Often, you have no time to plan or to stop and think – it might need an immediate decision on the battle eld, in a business meeting, in an operating theatre or on the sports  eld.”
and adapt on one’s feet are increasingly important.”
I was reminded of some of this while watching England and
so used it as the basis of my assembly talk to the School the next morning. I emphasised the importance of being able to think
I went on to say, “What that means is that whatever you plan, it will
go wrong, because you don’t know how the enemy will behave, you
New music facility
St. Edward’s School, Oxford, has opened the doors of the new Ogston Music School for the  rst time. The brand new £7m development will transform the musical life of the School, with a magni cent new recital and rehearsal space able to seat up to 120 people. This exciting new facility also features: 20 practice rooms; seven ensemble rooms; a recording studio and rock room; and the new Sixth Form Music Library.
The new Music School has ambitious plans to establish itself in its own right at the heart of the local community, welcoming schools, touring musicians and community performances.
The dedicated music classrooms are equipped with the very latest audio and video equipment,
Or, as Mike Tyson memorably put it, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
and the music tech studio will house a vocal recording booth and rock room.
The former departmental home, the Ferguson Music School, was ahead of its time when it opened in the 1960s, but with the musical ambitions of the School, this contemporary new home for the Department will allow St. Edward’s to continue developing and growing with con dence into the foreseeable future.
Alex Tester, Director of Music (pictured) said: ‘Music at St. Edward’s has always been at a high level, but the new Ogston Music School gives
us the chance to scale even greater heights. We now have a real opportunity to gain a national reputation for music, just as The North Wall has allowed us to do with drama, dance and art.’
Independent Schools Magazine 5

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