Message from the Headteacher

Welcome to our school. I am very proud to be the Headteacher of John Mason School; it is an exciting place to be.

At the heart of our ethos is the belief that each child is an individual, with a unique set of talents and abilities. Our job is to allow them the learning opportunities, encouragement and support through which to uncover these abilities, whether on the sports field, in science, music, arts or languages; everyone is good at something.

We have a committed and enthusiastic set of teachers and support staff, who understand the need to build positive and trusting relationships that encourage children to take risks in their learning. Only by taking these risks, trying new challenges and learning from our mistakes do we fulfil our potential.

I believe that high standards of academic achievement and consistently high expectations of behaviour provide children with the stable and calm environment in which to learn effectively. I expect the best of our teachers; they must be passionate about their subjects and committed to continuing to learn themselves. This is at the heart of our community; this is our way.

In addition, our school offers a broad and exciting range of opportunities to learn outside of the classroom with trips, visits and extra-curricular activities. We operate a competitive House system and encourage children to be as involved as they can be in the life of the school. This year all Year 10 students will take their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award as part of our tutorial programme, as we believe they will learn skills that will allow them to be confident and active members of society.

Every parent wants the very best for their child; at John Mason, we do too.

Mrs S Brinkley


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Definition: A conference, or meeting, to discuss a particular subject

Enrichment Programme for the Most Able in English and Literature in Years 7 and 8

When you are good at something you need unfamiliar and challenging experiences to get better still.
When you have a fire burning to find out more, the fire needs fuel and someone to tend that fire.
When you think at 100mph you need stimuli that go just that little bit faster.

As you will know from press coverage last year on both our website and in The Oxford Mail: John Mason School, in conjunction with The Oxford Academy, set up ‘Symposium’ in 2016 to enrich the experiences of the most able students at both schools.

In a project co-conceived by Chris Davies, John Mason School, and Louise O’Hara, The Oxford Academy, ‘Symposium’ brings together students from both schools and offers them a series of six university-style , graduate level seminars before inviting them to specialise in one of these areas. Then, in May, the students present their own dissertations on these topics to friends, family and special guests at a high profile dinner at an Oxford University College.

Chris Davies said:

“‘Symposium’ is part of John Mason School’s unbending commitment to stretching and challenging the most able. It is our hope that all of the students who experience Symposium will go on to consider higher education at the world’s very best universities being better equipped for public examinations and interviews than their contemporaries from both the state and private sectors.

The celebration (in 2016) event was a huge success; we enjoyed thoroughly original and philosophical creative writing, thought provoking film, and emotive literary installations organised by the students. The quality of last year’s work will certainly be difficult to beat.”

This year the students have enjoyed sessions on: ‘Literary Theory and Meaning’ presented by Professor Finn Fordham; ‘Modern Theatre’ run by Creation Theatre; ‘Philosophical Literature and Modernism’ by Chris Davies and a ‘Creative Writing Masterclass’ put on by celebrated local author and Oxfordshire Book Awards nominee Jo Cotterill. Later this term the students will go on to learn about The Evolution of British Poetry, led by Mr Fraser Prince & Miss Sarah Marcus before finally exploring ‘Postmodernism: Alienation in Modern Society’ Led by Mr Thomas Harris. Our celebration event will take place in late May at Oxford University whereby students will present their dissertations / projects on their chosen topic to a host of family, friends and special guests.

Maddie, from Year 8 and Symposium 2017, says of her experiences so far:

“At Symposium we learnt all sorts of new and exciting things which really helps us during our English lessons. My favourite session so far has been when Jo Cotterill came in to tell us about creative writing. We found out that she writes off the top of her head! I really enjoy Symposium.”

Issy, also in Year 8 and Symposium 2017 colleague of Maddie said:

“I really enjoyed doing the creative writing task because there were no boundaries and it made you think. We have also explored lots of other areas of English like ‘gibberish’ words and nonsense, which really made me laugh! It was also interesting to learn about the theatre business. Also, working with a different school is good because it expands the cloud of people you know and widens the range of views on a topic”

Lucy added:

“I have learnt a lot from Symposium. I’m so glad our school offers opportunities like this to students as it will open doors for us in later life”

For more information about ‘Symposium 2017’ please email


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