I am writing to introduce myself as the new Director of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla. I am privileged to be taking up this position at such a prestigious school.
As you may be aware my title is to be Director rather than Headmaster. The Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla feels this title more accurately reflects the multi-faceted nature of modern school leadership. I am responsible to the Board of Governors for ensuring that every aspect of the leadership and management of the school is of the highest class.
I was born and brought up in London where my father was a university lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London. I studied Modern History at Oxford University where I was a contemporary of UK Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron as well as Rajdeep Sardesai (who played in the same cricket team as me). I began my teaching career at the Judd School, one of the finest government schools in the UK. I am married with three children. My wife Rebecca will be overseeing admissions at the school, our youngest daughter (aged eight) has come with us to India. We have two other children. Our oldest daughter is a corporate lawyer and our son is studying History at the University of Warwick in England.
In my thirty-year teaching career, I have worked in several of the top independent schools in the UK and I have significant experience of raising academic standards within those schools and helping students to achieve places in world class universities both in the UK and abroad. Those schools all had extensive numbers of international students and they underlined to me how similar young people are and how connected they are with their peers around the world. The Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla are determined that we build upon its distinguished reputation as one of the finest schools in India. We must maintain our incredible track record of producing young men who will make a positive difference to both India and the rest of the world. Under my leadership our ambition for your sons will be evident and we will offer them a range of experiences to help them become productive and successful global citizens.
I am a passionate believer in the holistic and values-driven education upon which Bishop Cotton School, Shimla is built. Most important to me is that your son is happy and healthy at the school. All the boys need to thrive emotionally and physically. We will maintain our high disciplinary standards and there will be zero tolerance of any forms of bullying. As well as your son’s academic progress, it is essential that they are tested on the sports field, that they have the chance to be creative and that we provide for their spiritual development. Character is built outside of the classroom as well as inside. It is proven that students who have strong core values and a healthy lifestyle study more effectively and contribute more to the world around them. The Bishop Cotton School boarding community allows each individual to develop into confident and resilient young men. The Christian tradition of the school encourages students to be ever mindful of others especially those less fortunate than themselves.
After six years of Headship within the UK at Shebbear College, I am extremely excited at the opportunity of working in modern vibrant India – the largest democracy in the world. I look forward to bringing my skills to bear upon the task ahead and also to learn from the expertise that exists within the school staff team already. One area I am particularly keen to develop is how we prepare our students for university. We will review our offer so students do not feel they need to leave for ‘coaching’ and we will improve the quality of spoken English so that it is of ‘undergraduate standard’.
A change in school leadership is always unsettling and I am indebted to the support and handover I have received from my predecessor Mr Robinson (and Mrs Robinson) who has been such a tremendous and effective servant of the school. As such when your son returns to school it will be ‘business as usual’. The rest of the school staff community has given us a very warm welcome and we are really impressed with their commitment to the school. Mrs Weale and I are already living in Shimla and look forward to meeting you in the weeks ahead as your children return to school. We welcome your ideas as we plan for the future and will write to you with a questionnaire for you to write down your thoughts. Most of all we look forward to sharing another tremendous chapter in the history of this great school with you.
Mr. Simon Weale, M.A. Oxon
(Director of B.C.S)