Monday, 6 November 2017
Headmaster's Blog Autumn Term 2017 - Week 8
The week back after half term started with a lot of excitement and a Halloween Party for the boarders. It certainly took the edge off returning to school on a rather gloomy winter’s evening after a week at home relaxing. So some extremely gruesome and imaginative costumes were donned and a cart load of pumpkins, sourced by Mr & Mrs B-T, were duly carved in the MDR for display outside the school. I think it is definitely the most cheerful I have seen children coming back to school on a November night for quite a while.
The pupils have been on cracking form all week for that matter, and they have started the second half of term with real verve. This is no bad thing with exams in less than two weeks’ time; there is certainly no time for getting up to speed.
We have continued to be incredibly lucky with the weather. This has been another dry week, even if it was cold on Monday, but that did not last long. From Tuesday onwards it has been warm and beautiful. The autumn colours have finally arrived in force and together with the dry leaves currently lying on the ground they have made it a joy to be outside. It is one of the best parts of my job that I can spend Wednesday and Saturday afternoons watching matches and last Wednesday was a treat. It wasn’t our most successful afternoon in terms of victories, but the U10 boys rugby fixtures vs Beaudesert were thrillers, with some really skilful and brave play. I found it hard to tear myself away and a high-scoring draw and a win were more than deserved. The U12s looked useful with the ball in hand, but simply could not win enough possession to test their opposition seriously. They feel frustratingly close to being a strong side, but the hard, dirty job of rucking certainly needs some more work. The girls playing at home had a difficult afternoon against strong Beaudesert sides. Judging by the height of the opposition girls the netball term is not going to be much fun either, but let’s worry about that nearer the time.
We all love a bonfire, let’s face it, and the excitement of Bonfire Night built as the week progressed. An impressive and rather aesthetically pleasing bonfire was constructed by the groundsmen around a tall totem holly bough; much discussion was held over the site of the fireworks, balancing the competing pressures of safety, visual impact, wind direction and crowd control; Mr Scott built a bigger bar than ever and organised his ingredients for the mulled cider and wine with a relish reserved for the high days of the school year; and Mr Richardson over-saw the organisation of the event with his usual calm and purpose.
After a wet morning, the day cleared up and we had a clear and increasingly crisp afternoon. As the sun set over Clee Hill the children started to gather around the bonfire and there was a palpable feeling of thrill. The fire did not let us down – it burnt hot and fast; nor did Mr B-T’s firework display, which more than lived up to the occasion. It was hard to recognise who was who in the dark and under hats, but once parents had stopped worrying about their children, who had disappeared off into the night to have fun with their friends – helped considerably by Mr Scott’s mulled wine – the evening seemed to be very happy – hot dogs, toffee apples and hot chocolate; lots of running around having a ball; high jinks out of the grown ups’ sight; and a beautiful, bright full moon. It was a very happy evening and great to see so many families coming along to support and OAs back to see each other and keep in touch with their old school. In short, a super way to finish off the week.