Headmaster's Blog | Thursday 7 May 2020

07 May 2020

After writing this missive I must record Thursday morning’s assembly. As VE Day is upon us I was reading Churchill’s speech and I intend to read some of it to the boys. Maybe it’s the effect of recording lots of assemblies, but the acting has gone to my head and it is very hard to read a Churchill speech without mimicking his voice. I will need to concentrate! Turning to a lesser speech, the PM will clarify how he intends for us to end the lockdown on Sunday. There really is no point writing reams here about the possibilities, but rest assured on two things: 1) We are keen to get back but not if it means risking anyone’s health and 2) Independent boarding schools are low on the list of priorities for HMG, but fingers crossed they let us decide what to do.

Our approach to VC continues to evolve and we will never be totally satisfied as the thirst for continuous improvement hasn’t lessened in the virtual world. The live PE session earlier in the week went down very well with you all and with far more of you joining than we had anticipated; who needs Joe Wicks when we have Hutchings, Zengerink, Williams and Blagden! Furthermore, the tribute to VE Day through tasks pulled together by our art-focused teachers has been appreciated.

All the Caldicott boys love their House and in Virtual Caldicott this rivalry has heightened. In this week's meeting, the Housemasters promoted the Caldicott 2.6 Big Ask Challenge that will raise funds for the charities I mentioned in a recent assembly. The boys have the chance to complete a range of 2.6 challenges so please go ahead and ask them. They don't have to, but if any boy does all 26 he will be awarded a Big Ask certificate and mentioned in assembly. Donations can be made on our Virgin Giving page. If you could help, it would be much appreciated.

We enjoy a positive and close working relationship with all the senior schools you know well and so I’m delighted to share that we have all been invited to one of James Dahl’s fireside, as they call it, lectures. Mr Dahl is the Master (Headmaster) of Wellington College and on Monday 11 May at 1730 he has an Arctic explorer, Alex Hibbert, sharing his experiences over MS Teams in a talk entitled 'Icebergs, Sled Dogs and Polar Eskimos - lessons learned in the High Arctic' and you can attend using the link: Microsoft Teams Fireside Talk with Alex Hibbert.

On Monday 18 May at 1730 he has TV producer Reza Pakavran, giving a talk entitled 'Race to the End of the Earth: why an explorer's mindset matters'. To join use Microsoft Teams Fireside Talk with Reza Pakavran. He will be talking about his record-breaking,11,000 miles length of the planet bike ride from Norway to Cape Town, discussing the adventures he encountered including some of the harshest conditions in the Arctic and the Sahara desert and the lessons learnt.

Our own lecture series has been great too and I'd like to express my thanks to Mr Timms for organising it. Earlier today I listened to the podcast for boarders and my word, it was packed with good advice, notably on how to get a good night's sleep on this occasion – well done, Ma'am Bisschop.

Have a great long weekend and please allow my team plenty of time before you ask about our response to the Prime Minister's announcements.

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