Pocklington School’s new Headmaster challenges pupils to think big

New Pocklington School Headmaster Mr Toby Seth

Pocklington School’s new Headmaster, Toby Seth, has laid out his vision for taking the School forward – and thanked staff and pupils for their warm welcome.

Mr Seth took over the reins on January 1st and said the first week of the new term had been notable for the atmosphere of positivity throughout the School.

He added: “There are three aspects to Pocklington School which are particularly exciting. I like to think of these as the Pillars of Pocklington. These are the strengths that give us the chance to further develop this already excellent school.

“One is the prioritisation of academic study, which is evident in the enthusiasm and focus of teachers and pupils alike. The second is the wonderful range of co- curricular activities and the expectation that everybody, staff and pupils, is engaged in those. Third is the wellbeing of pupils and staff: the number of people actively engaged in promoting the School community’s welfare is really heartening. Pupils always have someone to turn should they need support."

The School is in the process of re-examining its core values of courage, truth and trust, and Mr Seth asked pupils and staff to focus on a related attribute, ambition. He urged all members of the community to set themselves aspirational goals and be ambitious for their future.

“It might be about aspiring for an A grade instead of a B grade, or applying for a University that you might feel is a little out of reach,” he said. “You might have the courage to take that extra risk in lessons, put your hand up even when you’re not quite sure of the answer. Or aim to have an interesting lunch-time conversation with the person sitting next to you? It’s all about marginal gains… over a period of time they can amount to a significant leap forward.” 

Mr Seth, who was previously Deputy Head at the King’s School in Macclesfield, said he had been impressed by the “incredibly warm welcome from everyone - support staff, teachers, pupils and parents” that he had encountered as both a visitor and as Headmaster.    

He added: “There’s a real sense of positivity, a feeling of working together and that every single person is genuinely part of a strong community. I’ve been amazed at the dedication of the staff, who are all really committed and will go the extra mile, whatever their role at the school.

“The pupils, too, are incredibly engaged and committed in what they do. There’s a clear camaraderie and a tangible sense of their pride in their School, with good reason. These strengths are hard to create but Pocklington School has achieved a very special atmosphere.

“I am very much looking forward to building on these strengths and all that we can achieve together in the future.”