Friday, 29th June 2018
The Friends and Family Concert on Wednesday was again a highlight of the term. I remarked at the time that one of its major features was variety. We had double basses and cornets, we had some of our youngest players and some of our oldest, we had sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, friends, groups and pairs. All in all it was a kaleidoscope of talent and exuberant pleasure and it showed the School in such a good light. I was so proud to be its Headmaster. One of the other aspects which is particularly pleasing is that it is largely arranged and practised by the pupils themselves. As ever Miss Biddell was quietly ensuring that all was well but in many ways her greatest contribution was in not getting too involved and it is a real feature of the School’s music that so much of it is done by the pupils. I can hardly think of a better lesson for life.
Sports Day too was a phenomenal success, much aided by the weather which was perfect. It was lovely to see so many people there and all was so colourful, a characteristic mirrored by Mr Watson’s rainbow-like blazer! Going over to see the display of photos that had been created by the professional photographers, I was faced by so many snapshots of the day; there was so much pleasure, so much effort and so much endeavour and it was a truly lovely display of positivity. Again, I would like to thank the Parents’ Association whose incomparable chairman Angela Tatay is very sadly about to return to Spain. A huge effort went into the day and the stalls raised over £2000. Much of this impressive sum will go towards ensuring that our pupils benefit over the following year. The competitive part of the event was finished off by the tug of war. The fact that it was the last event did not mean that the least effort was put into it; on the contrary – it was a fight almost to the death and I have rarely seen such exhausted boys as those who emerged from the contest. In the end there was no clear winner other than commitment. I cannot thank our staff enough; over the past few weeks they have worked so hard to ensure that the pupils have an enjoyable, engaging, educative experience and I must say, with only a week to go, that I have been thrilled by what has been achieved this term and what we have put on for the boys and girls of the school. They are indeed very lucky.
Last Friday on Enterprise Day, I decided to volunteer to have wet sponges thrown at me in aid of the Guide Dogs charity. This was not perhaps my finest hour. I went back to school to get changed and returned to the playing fields in gear appropriate for a drenching. As I approached I noticed that a huge queue had formed, at the front of which was my own son, Henry, already clutching three sodden sponges from which water was pouring out. No sooner had I sat down on the chair than the sponge hit me straight in the face! This was followed by a battery of sponges launched from various positions. After the initial onslaught I heard, with horror, Mr Dickinson’s voice on the speaker system announcing that for five pounds anyone could purchase a bucket full of water to pour over me. Despite the fact that my ears were deluged with water, I was able to hear the stampede which followed and it was after this that I had a number of al fresco showers! Fortunately it was very warm and sunny and so the effect did not last for long. I am delighted that this and other fundraising ventures ensured that a considerable amount was raised for our charity. This was consolation for my drenching, as indeed were some of the remarks of the boys watching. One boy just looked at me dripping following a bucketful of water and said: “This is too funny!” while another boy came up to me at the end of the experience as I was drying out, and said: “Well done Mr Murray. I have a present for you for doing that.” He held his hand out and in it I found a small shining red object; “It’s a Haribo,” he said, “please have it from me.” “That’s very kind of you,” I said, taking the slightly warm sweet. “Don’t worry, sir,” he replied, “I don’t like them anyway!” Now there’s something to chew on!