This has been a very unusual week: such contrasting days of sunshine and heavy rain, that we have had to have alternative programmes on hand at all times.
Sadly our block fixture against Cheam (26 teams) had to be cancelled. We managed to offer a varied and worthwhile mixture of activities and study that meant everyone let off steam and had some fun. I enjoyed coaching water polo to the boys… It was quite a surprise to look out of the pool at the Astro, to see the girls training for netball wearing swimming caps!
We have thoroughly enjoyed the first two semi-finals of the House Music Competition. On Thursday the qualifiers from the Bees performed; divided into three age groupings. The same routine applied on Friday for the Hornets. The soloists were very polished, and quite varied in what was on offer: 7 singers, 6 pianists, 4 violinists, 2 drummers, 2 saxophonists, 2 clarinettists, 1 cornet player and 1 flautist. Next week we will hear the remaining two houses, and then we will have the line-up for the Finals.
On Thursday afternoon most of Year 8 were treated to a very special English lesson in the Mulberry Pavilion, delivered by Chris Wheeler, Headmaster of Monkton Combe School. Mr Wheeler is a Chaucer scholar, and his very lively lesson introduced the children to the Miller’s Tale. He used many different methods, but captivated the audience with his manner, and his complete fluency in Middle English! The lesson concluded with the children drawing a picture of their idea of the Miller, on the windows of the Pavilion, using glass markers. They had to label the various characteristics of their Miller using the original Middle English words of Chaucer from the text. A suitably raucous judging followed.
Later on, after Mr Wheeler had joined the boarders for supper, he spoke to parents in the Mulberry Pavilion as part of our ongoing Talking Heads series. With a respectable number (45) present, Mr Wheeler explored the best ways of helping a school pupil thrive: principally through well-focused pastoral care and pupil-centred reporting. A number of initiatives were outlined and demonstrated – with the help of Dominic Hall and Bonnie Fisher from Year 8, acting as guinea pigs. As with his talk to Year 8, the parents were well entertained by Mr Wheeler’s many anecdotes, and his sense of theatre. Thank you to those who supported this initiative. Next term we have Mr Simon Henderson, Headmaster of Eton College, coming to speak under our Talking Heads banner.
We have an Exeat beginning this evening, which will be a welcome respite for the significant number of pupils and staff who are a bit under the weather at the moment. But before the day is actually finished, Year 3 and Year 4 will be able to enjoy their Disco. Thank you to the TPA Disco Team for their hard work, especially Helen Synott, who has borne the brunt of this organisation for some years now, and is passing on the baton.
Have a good weekend.