My First 100 Days at Hereworth

By Matt Allen

 “All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin”. John F. Kennedy

Having just completed my first 100 days as the newly appointed Headmaster at Hereworth School, I have been taking time to reflect on the new role and asking myself some key questions like, what makes students at Hereworth School successful? Why are the parents, the Old Boys and Girls, and the wider community so invested in this School? What makes our staff (both teaching and non-teaching) so passionate about this place?

I’ve also taken the time to interview each of the 55 staff members at Hereworth over the past 3 months to gain a greater understanding of who they are in the hope that this enables me to answer some of the questions above.

Thankfully, it has. Over the first 100 days I have come to learn that there are 5 key areas within Hereworth that are the significant factors driving success. These are as follows.

1. Passionate, dedicated Staff – I am fortunate to work alongside a team of experienced, professional staff who strive to deliver an engaging, challenging and personalised curriculum for our students. The extra time spent mentoring, coaching, planning, feeding and engaging with students coupled with the exceptional communication with parents is phenomenal. And our staff truly know how special this place is. When I asked them to use one word to describe Hereworth, they came back with terms like ‘welcoming’, ‘excellence’, positive’, ‘unique’ and my personal favourite – ‘home’. With a team like this, it’s no wonder the School is buzzing, every single day.

2. Academic Excellence – It’s not rocket science, but it’s close – I’m proud to let you know that Hereworth maintains an emphasis on the essentials of numeracy, literacy, science, haoura and social sciences. These foundational lessons alongside a diverse range of specialist options covering the arts, technology and design offer our boys and girls some wonderful opportunities to learn and grow. Combine these elements with the fact that we expect great things from our students, and this School is a fertile ground for success.

3. Co-curricular Excellence – Walking past the ASPAC and hearing the choir warming up, or seeing the football teams running drills on the fields below is a reminder that Hereworth is a place of opportunity outside the classroom as well. Our teachers and professional instructors offer a hugely diverse range of sporting and arts programmes, offering our boys and girls the chance to play, excel and follow their dreams. These opportunities will only increase later in the year with the opening of our multi-million dollar sporting facility in Term Three.

4. Non Nobis Solum – I see it daily, our students living up to the motto of ‘Non Nobis Solum’, Not for Ourselves Alone. It’s in the welcomes I get as I walk through the playground, or the stories I hear about how our students help each other, and do the right thing when no one is watching. Having a fantastic school motto is nothing if the people don’t live and breathe its message, and I’m proud to see that the special Anglican character of Hereworth is alive and well.

5. Empathy – Kindness is a most underrated attribute, and I have been thrilled to see the friendly, empathetic nature in which our students, parents and community members care for one another. This is especially true when witnessing our older students relate to the Junior School boys and girls. This inclusive, supportive nurturing makes Hereworth a special place indeed, and it’s wonderful to see the values of working hard, being kind and serving others are on full display, every day.

Although we are by no means a ‘perfect school’, after the first 100 days as the Headmaster of Hereworth I can proudly state that this is an amazing School which offers the students every opportunity to succeed. I see it, I hear it and I’m living it.

A new staff member joined us recently and after their first week in the School they messaged me saying, ‘I’ve never had so many students stop and say hello to me in a single day. Such an incredible atmosphere’. That sums this special place up!

Like the quote said, “All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days” but what I can tell you is that this place really is something special. I’m thrilled to be a part of Hereworth School. We will continue to offer our students the best education we can by continually developing and strengthening the five key elements of success for each student.

Matt Allen


Hereworth School