Head’s Blog 08.01.21

Dear Parents,

To be starting a term in lockdown again brings with it mixed feelings.  I, and all the staff, were keen to be back in School, supporting the boys and offering as close to a pre-pandemic education as we were able and yet I recognise the need to bring the virus back under control and therefore the need for us to stay at home as much as possible.  In the first lockdown, the virus was something that did not have a large impact on the life of my extended family or our friends but the rise of the recent variants has seriously affected people we know and, I know from some of you, that you have also seen the impact over the last few weeks.  I hope, therefore, that the remote learning, the pastoral support and the Trib and co-curricular activities will give your sons a routine, focus and sense of normality for the duration of this lockdown and let us hope that we can return after half term.

We received a very nice letter from the West London Mission.  They are hugely grateful for the 130 or so boxes that we delivered to them at the end of term.  They distributed the boxes at three of their centres that support those with alcoholism, ex-offenders and former servicemen and women, all of whom have suffered from or are at risk of homelessness.  The gifts were clearly a pick-me-up for the recipients at a very difficult time and there were some lovely messages of thanks.  I am so pleased that we are able to continue our partnership with this very worthy charity.  It is at this time of year that charities such as WLM are under the most pressure, and this has been exacerbated by the pandemic.  I greatly enjoyed visiting the charity towards the end of last term for the formal presentation of the money we donated some time ago.  They were looking forward to a return to normality and were keen to involve some of the older boys with their efforts.  That may now be some way off but I hope boys will take the opportunity to help when it comes along.

The other good news that I have been following are the university offers that the boys in Year 13 have been receiving.  They have experienced so much disruption to their time in the Sixth Form that I am delighted they are doing so well in their applications.  We have our first applicants for medicine this year and two of them have already been invited to interviews, as well as our first veterinary science applicant who awaits the result of his interview.  The offers that have come in so far include some of the best universities – Durham, KCL, UCL, Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Manchester among others – and for a range of courses: Business, Biological Science, Computer Science, History, Geography, International Relations, Mathematics and Psychology.  There will I hope be news on our US applicants shortly and I will share it with you.  I am pleased that, even though they may not have A Level exams, they have still have a target to work towards.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend after a week of such change.  We are continuing to monitor all that is going on and will keep you up to date as the situation evolves.

With best wishes, Seth


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