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Friday, 31st March 2017

 

Dear Parents,

It was such a pleasure to watch the play over the weekend. Mr Richards and his cast had put together a performance of character and colour, two brilliantly written pieces which were witty and entertaining and which included songs beautifully sung by members of the cast. As I said to the audience at the time, most of the boys had been given beards so one was able to glimpse what the future holds as our fine young senior pupils move into that era of temporary madness, the teenage years! I want to publically thank Mr Richards for his incredibly hard work; not only did he direct the plays but he wrote the entire script and, in addition, wrote both the words and music of the songs. It really was a triumph and we are so lucky to have in our midst such a supremely talented person. There were many other members of staff who also deserve to be thanked. Most importantly the boys themselves, whether actors or back stage, performed extremely well with some wonderfully memorable and idiosyncratic performances.

Just after we come back from the Easter holidays there will be the annual concert put on in the Cathedral by the CCCS Parents’ Association and the Christ Church Music Society. You will see an advert for this elsewhere in the newsletter. Please, if you have not been to one before, would you make the utmost effort to come. I think you will be astounded by the quality of the music. It is also a very special occasion in that undergraduates, parents, staff and pupils perform in the same concert and there is a mouth-watering display of splendid music-making. It’s a really lovely way of beginning the Trinity term. Last year it was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion. I think it’s also really nice to support our PA who work so hard for the school and for its pupils.

It won’t have escaped any of you that the holidays are about to commence. I hope that everyone will have some time to spend with their children. Parents of Form 8 boys should try to make sure that on almost every day, boys spend time doing some work, taking some time to rest and having some time for play. That way they are not only well prepared, but that they allow the body and mind time to recover and relax. Working is almost always best done in the morning and there should be an expectation that some work is done almost every day. That way a lot of ground is covered. Teachers will have ensured that boys have work to get on with and advice about how it should be done. All revision should be active; something should be written down or notes taken. Boys should be tested or should test themselves. Discussions should be had and questions asked. Revision which involves only passive reading is not very productive. We have had some brilliant scholarship results and we now want to ensure that everyone gets good CE grades. It’s also very important that the boys pick up good habits of revision; nothing will be more useful to them in the senior schools.

The redecoration of our dorms and main building has attracted a great deal of attention from the media and we have now been featured in another Tatler article and on the Daily Mail On-line; both of these are important and influential sites.  Do have a look and pass on to others. The Tatler article is entitled “6 best dorm rooms in boarding schools” and it’s very gratifying that we find ourselves numbered in such a list. The sharp eyed amongst you may notice that underneath this article is a link to another of their articles entitled “Are these the six hottest headmasters in the country?” It will be no surprise for you to learn that we do not feature in this article, nor indeed would any rapid summer holiday redecoration plans make this possible! Nonetheless I am completely sure that parents of decent schools like ours will always make their choice of school based on educational imperatives!

I was delighted to be asked to judge the Pre–Prep Easter bonnet competition yesterday. So much effort had gone into the construction of these wonderful fashion accessories and it was the most colourful sight. Some boys had spent days preparing their hats. Eggs lay amongst the straw, lambs and chicks frolicked happily together over green meadows. It was heaven. Today after the Pre-Prep assembly, the Dean kindly opened his garden, the model for the garden in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to the school for an Easter egg hunt. It was another chance for the boys and girls to wear their lovely hats. Really our pupils are incredibly lucky to have access to such a magical world. Little wonder that our pupils’ imaginations are so fertile.

The end of the term has arrived. It has been, from my perspective, a stupendous term. So much has happened and almost all of it, extraordinarily positive, especially of course the tremendous inspection report. Thank you so much for the part which you played in it, for the support which you have given the school, its teachers and pupils and for the pure enjoyment which your company has been. As much as anything else, it is a hugely enjoyable task to be the Headmaster of Christ Church Cathedral School and I consider myself exceptionally lucky.

Mr Murray


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