THE headteacher of a school in Taunton reflected on her first year on the job at an event marking the last day of term.

Dr Lorraine Earps, headteacher of Queen’s College, Taunton, held the Speech Day address on Friday, June 30, to mark the end of year.

The address saw the headteacher reflect on 12 months in the role after becoming the first female headteacher in the school’s history.

She said: “The work we have carried out this year has been unglamorous but essential in providing the secure foundations to see the college continue to thrive over the coming years.

“It has been a time of reflection and learning from past experiences.

“It has been hard work but we, like the young people here today, stand on the cusp of a dream, a dream which has at its heart the desire to take this college into the future.”

Dr Earps outlined her personal dreams for Queen’s, saying work to help young people become more emotionally resilient has been vital.

She said: “This year we have started to move towards the place we would wish to be.

“We have continued to embrace cognition and metacognition – or thinking and reflection on thinking – across all areas of school life.

“Work is now being carried out in all departments to find the best way for all subjects, both academic and non-academic, to promote thinking to pupils of all ages.

“This includes work we have been doing across the whole of the Junior School including promoting ‘thinking’ in the nursery.

“The work we are now putting in place to help our young people become more emotionally resilient and better able to deal with the pressures of life in the 21st Century is absolutely vital.

“The greatest gift we can give all our children is the ability to think for themselves and the capacity to deal with their emotions and the emotions of others. We need them to be able to think and plan for the future when it is helpful and perhaps, ironically, to learn to live in the moment when it is not.

“Queen’s has always been known as a place that cares for the individual, so we continue to work hard to make sure that we know every pupil well, that all teachers understand the unique talents and needs of every member of the community and that we support them to be the very best they can be in all areas.”

During the assembly, Dr Earps announced that Queen’s had developed a unique partnership with CHARIS – one of the first community-based groups in the South West to bring a Syrian refugee family to safety.

“That partnership has given us the opportunity to be one of the first Independent Schools in the country to offer an education to the children of a refugee family,” she added.

“In September we will be joined by three children who, in their short life, will have experienced horrors and hardships that we can only imagine, and which none of us would ever wish for our own children.

“Together, we must now ensure that they are all welcomed warmly, treated kindly and helped through what is inevitably going to be a difficult time.”

Chairman of Governors Mark Edwards attended the assembly and heard a review of the year by head boy, Dan Wilde, and head girl, Beth Alexander.