Week 1 has started very smoothly. As I wander the classrooms, I find a settled atmosphere. New work is happening in most rooms but there is a little finalising of last term for the senior girls. It is, of course, usual that Term 3 starts very quickly. The rhythm of work adopts the tempo of the previous term, classes have an established feel and assumed expectations pervade each room. This week, we have held the first assemblies (real ones) since the COVID-19 regulations placed a hold on group meetings. We still have protocols to follow but they do allow us to connect as a community. That brings us all into a place where community can flourish. We are hoping that the term ahead can be filled with events that bring joy to the community. We all know there is a fragility about how we might gather and enjoy music, sport and sociable connections, but for now, we plan to increase these moments of enjoyment (mindful of the regulations that still provide guidance and at times direction).
This term we have a small number of new staff. John Farmer (former long-standing staff member) is amongst them. He is making a short return (two weeks) from his ‘gap year’ post-retirement. Evidently, some sort of virus got in the way of his intended travel. We have waited a long time to get something positive from that virus. Also, Sue Greig has returned from her leave to cover Junior Years classes for a couple of weeks and we welcome Lucy Geddes (GOG 2017) and Emma Halfpenny in the boarding houses, and Alivia Boyce and Sarah McCarthy as Dance Tutors as they start in the first few weeks of term.
A little story to smile about; I regularly send a birthday greeting to the girls. It is a very simple “Happy Birthday” and includes a link to a YouTube clip that has Paul McCartney singing his (I thought) famous birthday song. I received a “many thanks” response from one young girl who added that “it was a lovely song”. She then asked, “who was Paul McCartney”? I love these questions. Quite reasonable, I thought, and I had been waiting for some time for it to be asked. I know this is not the most important discovery she will make at school, but so much she will encounter will be unpredictable, surprising and often a delight. To help her out I sent her a link to a concert given in honour of Paul at the White House. It is a bit long, but if you have time, it is a musical delight. Enjoy.
Mr Peter Crawley