Headmaster's Blog | Saturday 29 February 2020

29 February 2020

 

Our largely grey skies have been a characteristic of the week and I am sorry to note that more matches have become a victim of the weather. Fortunately, to coincide with the deterioration of the weather, the mood has been buoyed considerably by ‘Focus Week’. During the course of this week, the boys have followed their normal timetable but the normal curriculum has been set to one side and replaced with subject-specific work on the topic of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’.

 

This is no gimmick as the purpose behind the activities is to overtly step away from the peril of an exam-focused culture and turn up the opportunity to show original thinking, creativity, collaboration and problem-solving. The culmination of this work is in the form of an exhibition in our Performing Arts Centre this morning. The best part for me is to see the enthusiasm on the faces of the boys. We often say that ‘a change is as good as a rest’ and the same can be said for the brain. We all have childhood memories of school, but how many of those memories are from a normal day? I suspect hardly any and, like me, it is those special days that stand out or unusual trips or unusual events. As I have done before, I will take a moment to slip into nostalgia as I recall not only the ballroom dancing lessons (circa 1982 I suspect) but also scheduled naps and my English teacher reading Stig of the Dump to us.

Next week will see us roar towards Exeat with two major events that make me so proud to be Caldicott’s Headmaster. Acclaimed author, Ali Sparkes, will join us on Monday. Her books include The Shapeshifter series of five books, Out of this World (a prequel to The Shapeshifter and first released as Miganium), Unleashed, a series of six books (a spin-off/sequel series of The Shapeshifter, centered on some of the other Shapeshifter characters), Dark Summer, Frozen in Time, Wishful Thinking, Destination Earth, the Monster Makers series, and S.W.I.T.C.H. Her debut book The Shapeshifter: Finding the Fox was nominated for the 2007 Bolton Children's Book Award. She has also won two Blue Peter Book Awards: 'Book I Couldn't Put Down' and 'Book Of The Year', for her book Frozen in Time. What an inspirational figure for the boys to meet. We also have the Slough Philharmonic Orchestra visit to perform Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto on Wednesday at 1930. This is one of the more familiar concertos and the evening is set to be a delight. If you would like to join us then you are warmly welcome. There will be drinks beforehand and an opportunity to view the work of our Harrow Art Scholar, Archie.

There will be more communication about Coronavirus on Monday as we think ahead to how this may evolve between now and the end of term.

Have a good weekend.

Jeremy Banks