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Principal's Message - 25th February 2016

25 February 2016

As we approach the end of February, an interesting discussion point for many this week has been the fact that February has an extra day this year as it is indeed a leap year. The Gregorian calendar, which now serves as the standard calendar for civil use throughout the world, has both common years and leap years. A common year has 365 days and a leap year 366 days, with the extra day designated as 29 February. A leap year occurs every four years to help synchronise the calendar year with the solar year, or the length of time it takes the earth to complete its orbit around the sun, which is about 365¼ days. The length of the solar year, however, is slightly less than 365¼ days - by about 11 minutes. To compensate for this discrepancy, the leap year is omitted three times every four hundred years. So there you have it, a clear explanation of why we have an extra day this month!

All these calculations on the earth’s orbit leads me to remind you that just around the corner is our work with the UK National Space Academy. Our scientists are buzzing with excitement as we prepare for the visit. Leading the team joining us is Anu Ojha, Director of the UK’s National Space Academy programme and a Director of the National Space Centre – the UK’s largest visitor centre for space science and astronomy.  Anu co-led the development of the National Higher Apprenticeship programme for the Space Sector and is the lead for Skills/Training for the ongoing UK-China programme of collaboration in Space Science and Technology. He is also the Principal Investigator for one of the educational experiments conducted by astronaut Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station as we speak. We have been following Tim’s activities in space closely, with him even awarding Adele her Global Achievement Award live from Space at the Brit Awards this week. Please do make sure you join us for our evening lecture with Anu on Thursday 17th March where he shares the fascinating topic of Space…So What? and keeps us abreast of Tim Peake’s space adventure. 

Of course, it’s not all about the future but very much the present, and as you read this we are well and truly completing the final stages of preparation for Beauty and the Beast. The set is built and three of the performances are now sold out. Only the VIP red carpet opening night, for the glamour theatre goers looking for a night on the town, remains available. We really can’t wait to see you for what guarantees to be a night to remember.

Finally, the present and the future come together when we gather for our annual Careers and University Fair on Thursday 10th March. Please do come along with your child; it’s never too early to start planning for their future career and to find out more about possible choices. We strongly support all Secondary pupils to attend.