Headmaster’s blog 14/01/22

Happy New Year!

It has been great to be back this week, and so nice to catch up with many of the boys and hear about what a relaxing time they had over the break.

As you will know, our new term began with lateral flow tests for all, and I’d like to thank all pupils and staff involved in our testing programme, which went very smoothly this Monday and Tuesday. Particular thanks must go to Mmes Phillips and Westphal – our two wonderful Science Technicians – who set up and ran the test centre extremely efficiently. Thanks also are due to our PTA volunteers for their valiant work, and without whom we would have been much slower in getting all boys tested.

While media reports suggest that pandemic infection rates are starting to fall, and numbers within our School remain much below the national trend, it is important that we continue to be vigilant. As such, I’d like to thank everyone for their adherence to government guidance to wear facial coverings in communal areas and, for pupils, during lessons. I’d also like to stress the importance of regular testing in helping keep all within our community safe. We have a good stock of lateral flow test kits, and these have been given to our boys so that they can continue to test at least twice a week. Do please ask if you need more – your son can collect a pack from reception in either building.

Whilst most of our boys have been back in normal lessons, Years 11 and 13 have been beavering away in the hall at Hannah House completing their mock GCSE and A Level papers. This week has gone very smoothly and I am pleased that our boys have been preparing carefully over the break and will, I am sure, give a good account of themselves.

It was wonderful to gather this afternoon for our first assembly of the term, and I spoke to the boys about the importance of our being kind and caring towards one another. It is a cornerstone of our community that we are considerate to one another and, in doing so, our actions can have a lasting impression on those around us. In my final assembly of last term, it was a great privilege to read out so many names of boys who had been nominated by their peers for their kindness and supportive actions across the term. So, to begin this term, I asked our boys and staff to pause and think of a time when someone had been kind to, or cared for, them. I have no doubt that each person will have been able to think of a particular time and person and moment that made an impression on them, and I encourage you to do the same. It was Aristotle who suggested that, ‘we are the sum of our actions and therefore our habits make all the difference.’ As we re-start after a break, and some of us resolve to do or not do particular things this calendar year, I would suggest that continuing to cultivate a habit of kindness would be no bad thing at all.

From Monday, our co-curricular activities begin and I’m looking forward to reporting in the coming weeks of sporting success, academic endeavours, and fascinating co-curricular clubs and societies.

My final note for this week is a quick flashback to last term’s Christmas Jumper Day. I’m happy to say this event raised £435 for our School’s chosen charities, so thank you to boys and parents alike for your contributions and for your colourful knitwear.

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