Friday, 23rd March 2018
I am very sorry to say that we are losing three members of staff next term. Christine Stanley will be moving to Bishop’s Stortford where her husband, Paul, has been appointed Bursar of Bishop’s Stortford College, a huge job. I have tried to persuade her to commute but this would be beyond even her capabilities. Everyone in the school - staff, parents and pupils alike - will miss her warmth and humour immeasurably and she has been a huge support to me as my secretary. She will be leaving at the end of the second week of next term. Her role will be taken by Kate Lagden, currently school secretary and, formerly, headmaster’s secretary at MCS Junior School.
At the end of the Trinity term we will have to say goodbye to Chesca Forristal and Robin Harskin. I will write properly about them both towards the end of next term; Miss Forristal has been offered a number of performance opportunities in London, having grown several comedy and music projects during her time here, and has decided it is time to pursue these fully. Her enthusiasm, humour and dedication will be much missed. Dr Harskin has decided to move on in search of new challenges after four years at Christ Church. We will miss him terribly for all that he has done to help transform the school into a more efficient and academically serious place. In the meantime we will be interviewing in the very near future to find their replacements – a rather odd thought! Meanwhile we have been joined by a new Teaching Assistant, Caroline Oliver, whom I am delighted to welcome. Caroline is no stranger to the world of education as her husband is Stephen Oliver, the Headmaster of OLA, where their children go to school. I am sure she will enhance the lives of our pupils greatly.
It’s the time of year when the school is awash with drama. The play, Return of the Idol, again written by Nicholas Richards, is being performed tonight and tomorrow night and from all that I have seen, it bodes very well. I really hope that you will be able to attend whether or not your son is in it. Pupils carrying weapons of various description have been seen around the school so it will be intriguing to see in what way they will be used. I suspect that none of the audience will be in danger!
Last Friday I attended the Quiz night. On this occasion I was put on the staff team. I had a sense of foreboding as in recent years the staff have been stretched by the nature of the questions. This year, however, the rounds were based on the subjects associated with Common Entrance. I am thrilled to be able to say therefore that the staff team won easily! I am certain that the routed parents were at least able to take some consolation from the fact that those entrusted with the education of their sons had the proper qualifications to perform the job! Mr Watson was the quizmaster this year, a job he did with great efficiency and humour and I have really come to realise that his knowledge of music is very wide-ranging indeed! I am very grateful to the PA for arranging yet another magnificent occasion.
This morning we had our termly Eucharist celebrated by the Sub Dean and at which the preacher was the Rev Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul’s Cathedral. It was a joyous occasion and a lovely way of reflecting on all the blessings of this term. Canon Hampel spoke to us about trying to make the most of our gifts whilst at the same time not thinking of ourselves as being better than others and remembering the humility shown by Jesus. At the beginning of the sermon he asked what careers the boys wished to pursue. The responses he got were an interesting reflection upon the school. One boy wished to be a marine palaeontologist, another an engine driver. A future professional chess player revealed himself as did a script writer. Eventually Canon Hampel let it be known that he would take one final suggestion. The selected boy narrowed his eyes and replied “Exterminator!” A perfect termination of the inquisition!