Dear Parents,

Something I have learned from 22 years of working in schools around the world is that no matter where you are and what sort of school you are working in, holidays always come a week too late. I reminded the school in the Monday assembly on May 22nd as we went into the last 8 days of the term that, more than ever, we need to be the best versions our ourselves, be kind to others, listen more than we speak, assume that everyone has the best interests of the community in mind (even if you think they are being selfish) and to respond later rather than react now.

After three days it was clear to everyone..... holidays do, in fact, come a week too late. People were short tempered, they were saying and doing things they should not have said and done and they were finding it difficult to accept that things were not going their way. It is these times, of course, in which we learn the most about ourselves and those around us. We also get to develop our resilience by putting the reserves of humour, grace and mindfulness that we build up over the year to good use. In the end we have made it to the long summer break and I think that we will all be able to work together and move forward when we come back in July.
There were some highlights and triumphs to punctuate the end of term funk: The inter-house hockey provided some excitement, though the calling off due to a storm wasn't the end that everyone had hoped for. Jaipur House won, Hyderabad House felt like they were robbed. The awarding of the academic prizes across the forms happened in our last two assemblies. The inter-house pop band competition proved to be a wonderful evening and was a fitting farewell to PCH for her years of hard work leading the music school. Congratulations to Oberoi House! The golden night dinner, complete with colourful mocktails, and the time in the last couple of days to be and play together in our beautiful gardens and fields before saying goodbye to one another for the next 6 weeks.
On May 29th, the ICSE and ISC results arrived from the Board. We are delighted for our students who have done so well and got what they needed to go to the college of their choice. You can see the results of our toppers on the school's Facebook page. Our ISC school average was 85.89% and our ICSE school average was 90.01%. If you are following the trend across the country you will know that the results, particularly in English, are lower than they have been in the past few years. We are monitoring the situation closely and communicating with students and the Board on cases where we think a remark is needed. It is worth recognising that results cannot keep increasing and what we have achieved this year is in line with the expectations that I had reported to the Board after an analysis of the Batch of 2017's results over the last six years. We look forward to the IB results coming out in early July to give us a more complete picture of the academic success of the 2017 cohort. Our careers department is working with the few students who have not met their first choice admission criteria to see how best we can support them.
In ISC approximately 42% of the candidates secured 90% and above average marks (English plus best three) and in the ICSE 64% of the candidates secured 90% and above average marks (English plus best four).
Masters waiting for the results.

Today we are hosting a memorial for Gulab Ramchandani, the 5th Headmaster of the school. We are expecting to see many of his old colleagues and students and are looking forward to hearing from Shomie Das, the school's 6th HM as well as some of those with whom Gulab worked over his very long second career in education. 

'Summer At Doon' begins on Saturday. We will be joined by 54 students between 14 and 17 years of age from all over the country. They are coming to have a Doon School experience based on the themes of youth leadership and activism in a complex and volatile world. They will have seminars and workshops led by our masters, external speakers who are making their way in the world of thought and civic leadership and they will be doing all of the things that make up The Doon School experience; service, trips, trekking, rafting, music and dramatics.

After 'Summer At Doon' I will be enjoying some time at home in Germany before travelling to London, Toronto and New York for the Doon School Old Boys' Society (DSOBS) get togethers. I will incorporate a couple of visits to interesting schools like Upper Canada College and The York School in Toronto to learn what I can about how they are shaping education for their communities.

I wish you all the very best for the break. Enjoy the time that you have together and remember that holidays are an investment of time and effort that you make in your children; don't waste them with school work and tuitions.


Matthew Raggett

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