Invictus Education Trust was created in March 2015 by a group of like-minded schools: Crestwood, Ellowes Hall Sports College, Kinver High and Ounsdale High. Leasowes High School will join us in Autumn 2016, which will further strengthen an already thriving Trust.
The name ‘Invictus’ is carefully chosen; the dictionary tells us that it means ‘indomitable or unconquerable’ and this is the spirit we want to grow in our schools and students. ‘Invictus’ may be best known as the title of a poem by W E Henley (see below).
There are a couple of phrases that particularly call to what we are trying to do: ‘Blooded but unbowed’ – almost all parents will know what it is to be knocked back, to face adversity, to be ‘bloodied’. The real virtue is to come back ‘unbowed’. Similarly, the final lines ‘I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of mu soul’ : this illustrates rather forcefully the resilience, independence and confidence that we want for our students.
We know that by coming together as 5 schools we can raise standards to heights we could never achieve alone. The staff are already collaborating to help provide the very highest chances of examination success.
We have set ourselves the target of having our students compete with the very best – be they from State or Independent schools. We know that all can benefit from being brought together, but this is particularly true of the most able and talented. This need not just be about academic success. Invictus is quite a ‘young’ Trust but we have already started to find ways for talented musicians to work together, for example.
The Invictus Choir has now performed at the Birmingham Symphony Hall and, more recently, at the Royal Albert Hall. Other collaborations include an Invictus Samba Band and an Evening of Guitar Music – these may be less ‘highbrow’ but they give the students an increased musicality, confidence and even laughter.
If this looks as though Invictus is mostly concerned about the most able, this is not true: we would say that all students can benefit from the shared expertise and heightened sense of purpose. In simple terms, we will be providing ‘elite experiences’ for all.
A S Griffiths OBE
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
– William Ernest Henley
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