Friday, 3rd March 2017
On Tuesday I enjoyed myself hugely at the drinks we held for friends of the school. The whole ground floor of No 3 was transformed into an upmarket party venue and it was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves. Mrs Juggins had surpassed herself in terms of the exquisite catering which she had managed to produce and so much had been done to turn the place into an environment which was worthy of the many people who had come. I was particularly pleased to see so many of the Form Reps whom we had invited to thank for their contribution to the life of the school. We are so fortunate in our PA and in the vital contribution they make to the life of the school. Under Maria Blick's chairmanship, the Association has flourished and it has been particularly successful in its fundraising. It has now given the school a very large sum towards the new playground which will be erected during the Easter holidays in the Bark area. Thus will transform that part of the school and I am sure that it will add greatly to the enjoyment by pupils of break time. I am looking forward this evening in pitting my wits against many of the parents at the annual PA quiz night and it was very exciting to hear of the plans for the Summer Ball at Christ Church to which I hope as many of you as possible will come. One of the aspects of the school which I have most appreciated is the warm relationships between parents; it really is such a heartening aspect of the school. I hope that you will read carefully your edition of this month's Tatler which confusingly seems to be labelled April 2017 but which seems to be available in shops at the beginning of March. Though it is not a publication I would recommend that our pupils examine too closely, there is a beautiful four page spread about the refurbishment of our dormitories with the most exquisite photographs. It is very gratifying that our school has appeared in a national magazine, particularly one so concerned with aesthetics. Unusually the magazine has decided to put it on its website too; it will remain there for about a week and it can be found at www.tatler.com if that is of interest. The refurbishment of No 3 really has shown what a beautiful and atmospheric building it is. Often as I sit in my study overlooking Brewer Street, I notice people taking photographs of the school and I have often wondered why they are not snapping other more famous buildings. The redecoration has made me see the place in a new light and I understand now exactly the attraction of the place.
Yesterday was World Book Day. So many of the pupils and staff came in sporting colourful costumes. The day began with an inspiring assembly given by Mr Watson who spent a great deal of it reading from "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter. The experience of listening to a story, very well known to me, from cover to cover was mesmerising and for me the beneficial effect of the experience lasted for a long while. Really there is still, despite 3 D or even 4 D cinema, nothing better to my mind than being read to or indeed to reading a book, an experience which, ironically seems to me to engage the mind far more powerfully than watching films. We will continue to be a school where reading is considered fundamental to a proper education. I came dressed as Fantastic Mr Fox. I was quite proud of my costume. As one knows, pride always comes before a fall and schools are the best places to demonstrate this truism. As I stood welcoming people, tail hanging limply from under my elegant jacket, one of our more honest pupils looked at me, and, having heard what my character was, responded: "Hm you've done the Mr bit quite well; but you've haven't quite got the Fox." He failed completely to comment on the Fantastic part – thank goodness. Well progress is often slow!