HEAD’S UPDATE Week beginning 18th January

HEAD’S UPDATE Week beginning 18th January

During the last lockdown, there was an overwhelming feeling of relief that as a school we were facing restrictions during the Summer Term, as opposed to the Winter one, the prospect of which felt somewhat unbearable. The restrictions felt more manageable during the longer and warmer days. 

I, unlike a number of my colleagues, did not foresee another national lockdown, and perhaps buried my head to the prospect. The prospect is now of course our reality, and we find ourselves facing our biggest dread of the summer: lockdown in winter.

Is it disappointing and frustrating; yes, but is it as bad as we thought? No. We are getting on with things and making the best of it. The resourcefulness and enthusiasm of the children never ceases to amaze me, and I have loved watching videos of the children’s learning at home. Their acceptance of the situation and willingness to embrace a new system is so impressive, and they set a very high standard, which I find both admirable and inspiring. 

We are trying hard to maintain our normal routines despite our community being spread across towns, counties, countries and even continents. One of the traditions in the Prep School is for a member of Year 8 to give ‘pupil announcements’ at the end of Assembly. These announcements follow a certain format - date, duty teams, birthdays and a reference to what happened on this day in history. This week, the member of Year 8 giving the notices chose to highlight that the third Monday of January is Martin Luther King Day. This prompted me to watch an interview with Martin Luther King on BBC iplayer, which is part of the Face to Face series. One particular quote stood out:

‘The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education’

One cannot underestimate the importance of character in education. Character is what sustains us during the most challenging of times. It helps us face problems, find solutions, and continue to achieve our goals. Education is very much a two way process. The children learn from us, but we also learn from them. So far, they are setting a superb example from which we all can learn. They go about their daily business with hope and positivity - I aim to follow their lead. 

We informed you in an earlier communication that the Government asked schools to offer daily testing (as an alternative to somebody identified as a close contact needing to self-isolate). The most recent communication from the government has revoked this request, and any close contact will need to complete the required self-isolation period instead.

I would like to clarify that the Exeat will start for all pupils (Pre-Prep and Prep) at 2pm on Friday 29th January. There will be no live lessons or sessions after 2pm on Friday or on Saturday 30th January. 

Best wishes