Being the Headmaster of one of the UK’s oldest schools and being responsible for the education of around 750 children and young people is both an extraordinary privilege and a solemn responsibility. I suspect that never in the School’s illustrious history of 1,350 years has the speed of change been so significant as it is today, with the technological, geopolitical and environmental landscape shifting at such an extraordinary rate.

Our responsibility is to enable every student of HCS to be equipped not only to survive that world, but to thrive within it, living out a life of fulfilment, meaning and purpose, from which happiness will consequently follow.

Our young people who leave us at the age of eighteen will likely be retiring in the 2080s and it is impossible to forecast the sort of world in which they will be living. What we can say with confidence, however, is that our timeless school values of kindness, courage and integrity will serve them well in every decade and the embedding of these Christian virtues while here at school will enable them to make wise and thoughtful life choices.

Situated in our stunningly beautiful Cathedral Close, I am often struck that the founders of the Cathedral at the end of the Seventh Century also thought it so important to establish a school.

The mission of our ancient forefathers has not changed: like them, we are resolutely committed to growing people, transforming lives, and shaping futures.

What has changed is the means by which we fulfil our purpose, and when you come and walk around the school you will witness our digital strategy which sees our Junior School children navigating the key components of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, our Senior School pupils using digital inking and OneNote instead of a pen and paper, while our Sixth Formers are harnessing the latest virtual reality software to practice for university interviews, employer assessment days and to refine their public speaking and leadership skills. Despite a long and venerable history, our eyes are unwaveringly fixed upon the future and delivering a dynamic, cutting-edge and sector-leading education which characterises our commitment to innovation, dynamism and imagination.

In order for our students to be real-world ready, they need to be citizens of the world and players on the global market. This means bringing the world to Hereford and bringing Hereford to the world.

We have recently enjoyed visits to the school from members of the UK cabinet, the Master of the Rolls, the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, high commissioners and ambassadors as well as several other prestigious and high-profile guests. Our pupils enjoy economics trips to New York, geography excursions in Iceland, sports tours to Canada and hiking expeditions in the Pyrenees. Our magnificent and homely boarding house hosts students from around the world who enrich and diversify our community and experience. Our expanding work through Hereford International Schools demonstrates the reach of our global brand and the ambitious vision that we hold.

I would really urge you to come and see Hereford Cathedral School for yourself; come and feel the warmth of our welcome, witness the enthusiasm and energy of our staff, and experience the purpose and happiness of our students. Ours is a community that is unique in its ethos and identity, and where those who come from myriad backgrounds find a place that they very soon call home.

Dr Michael Gray, Headmaster