Sunday, 12 January 2020
Headmaster's Blog #48
New Year Blog
Term has begun with a smile and a reassuringly high volume of chatter amongst the pupils. Although, if one is entirely honest, the end of the holidays come around rather too quickly, and a slight firmness of mind is needed to brace up to the start of term, as soon as it has started and the boarders are back in school, all the foot dragging is forgotten in an instant. On Wednesday evening, it was particularly lovely to sit in the MDR and absorb the noise emanating from all the boarders as they had their first supper back and started to catch up with one another’s news. There was palpable energy and life, which is exactly what one would expect from the boarding community, ranks refreshed by six pupils from Korea staying until half term.
Ashton Assembly the following morning had much the same atmosphere, three new pupils and an exciting term ahead. This proved to be the case yesterday afternoon, when I have never seen the pitches, carpark and Front Hall busier. Well done, Mr B-T, for organising such a full round of fixtures. The boys from the Colts up to U13 level were muddily involved in a three way round of games vs The Elms and Moor Park. We didn’t win them all, but given the fact that there had only been one training session really, our count of wins and draws out-weighing our losses was an encouraging start to the season. Match tea for visiting parents slightly under estimated demand, but I secretly must confess that my frugal tendencies were gratified to see, when I finally arrived in the Front Hall, barely a crumb left on the cake and sandwiches table. One cake survived, but only because it got forgotten about on a trolley stuck behind an open door – waste not want not.
Speaking of quotations or proverbs, I was reminded yesterday, by a piece of paper stuck on the back of our crockery cupboard door, of something I used to do as a housemaster. I would ferret out some quotations or sayings and post them in the house each week. If appropriate, all the better, but I believe that the best ones have a universal relevance.
This morning’s Chapel Service was another example of what is at the heart of Abberley – a community. It was lovely to see familiar faces, old boys (two generations), parents and grandparents, as well as new members of the congregation, both pupils and parents. The choir carried on with the same excellent standard of singing as they ended last term, performing John Rutter’s For The Beauty of the Earth with an assurance and enjoyment that was noticeable. Mr Tim Firth, Headmaster of Wrekin College, gave a cracking address, which he pitched just right: humour and relevance, both to parents and pupils – resilience and good parenting. It would be lovely if even more parents came along to these services, which are little gems of school life. The first reading was from Isaiah, and as it happens one of the old quotations that had caught my eye was from Isaiah “This is the way, walk ye in it.” Quite!
The other quote I quite often feel like using, and had an enjoyable discussion about with my Top Year Classical Civilization form is “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise.” (Proverbs, vi,6). We expanded their vocabulary to include the word ‘sluggard’, which I was rather surprised they didn’t know. The other, more current quotation, which I am very keen to use in a conversation this term I am taking from the recent TV series, Dracula, “I’m undead, not unreasonable.” So watch out.