Friday, 14 February 2020
Headmaster's Blog #51
I should have squeezed into last week’s blog a few sentences about the Abberley Relays. Thank goodness it was a dry afternoon, and in fact there had been a strong wind most of the preceding week, which had dried out, somewhat, the ubiquitous mud. This made the cross-country conditions slightly less challenging. In fact I would go further than that and say there were classic cross-country conditions – a bleached look to everything, grass looking battered, the mud growing sticky and holding its shape, a cold wind with an edge, but not actually low air temperature; in sum, although no visual evidence of Spring, just that sense that it is not all that far away.
It was super to see so many runners – 14 different schools, with at least four relay teams each, sometimes more; lots of camp followers too; this year spread more evenly around the course, and not all bunched at the finishing line. The full extent became apparent in Ashton Hall after the running had finished, when all gathered for a cup of tea, cake and hot dogs, waiting for the results to be calculated. As always there was plenty of guts and character on display, and some wonderful, quick laps. Cheam School did very well yet again, but others impressed too – Moor Park & RGS Worcester, for instance, and the Abberley U11 girls came 3rd, which was no mean feat (we have some really tough girls in that age group). Well done all the runners, and Mr Richardson’s team, who ran the event. It was a big event, which went off very smoothly. In fact it has inspired me to dust off my trainers and accompany Mrs Lockett in a run or two (she is training for a 10K). Let’s see how long these good intentions last.
We were treated to a super, if extended, Lunchtime Showcase on Friday. The annual round of LAMDA exams have just happened (results are eagerly awaited), so it made sense to share some of this quality work with a decent audience. Having seen several excellent performances, I am hopeful of some good grades from the LAMDA exam board. There was music too, notably from Rose, one of our Korean pupils, who played a beautiful piece on the piano. It is a shame that the Koreans are returning home at the end of next week. They have been a delightful addition to the school all term; full of smiles and a great attitude of getting stuck into everything on offer, be it Cookery activity, Lunchtime Showcases, playing football and more.
I hope they are not too worried that they are returning to a higher risk part of the world with regard to Coronavirus. This threat has grown and is firmly high up our agenda, as it is for all boarding schools. I hope that the cat remains in the bag and that the risk does not become increasingly wide-spread; then it will be not just a problem for boarding schools.
A big, final push is planned for the last week before half term on the Patrol Music Competition. The start of most days this week will be singing and dancing oriented, with the panic levels rising.
I can’t wait to hear the final performances, just before we break up for half term.
Will Lockett, headmaster