Friday, 6th October 2017
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we were going to hold a charity concert in aid of the Barbuda appeal attended by the High Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda. I was thrilled that so many of you came to support the occasion and that the huge pile of cakes which was kindly supplied by so many parents was purchased within minutes of the end of the concert. Rarely have I seen so many people crowd round a table, desperate to part with their money; so acute was the frenzy that the boys made a swarm of locusts look retiring! Donations from those coming to the concert were also very generous. The High Commissioner herself, who had postponed a trip to Washington in order to attend the concert, was thrilled and spoke movingly about her homeland and about the efforts that we had made. She was terribly impressed by the quality of the music that had been performed, unsurprisingly. In all £1227.78 was raised, and the resulting publicity in the Oxford Mail aided the appeal as well. It was a truly memorable occasion and I am thrilled that our small community could help another small community on the other side of the world.
This morning I announced in assembly that the following Form 8s had received special positions of responsibility in the School.
Head of Carroll House: Eusebio, Deputy William B;
Head of Sayers House: William W, Deputy Joshua;
Head of Wolsey House: Daniel and Deputy, David.
Finally, Deputy Head Boy is Hamza and Head Boy Joseph. I wish all of those boys well in their positions of responsibility and look forward to their contributions to a very successful year. Our Form 8s have a huge amount of talent and I have no doubt that every single one of them, including those not mentioned above, will play important parts in the life of the school this year.
At the end of last week we had a lovely stay and play morning in Nursery where a good number of potential nursery pupils came to see the place. As many of you know the nursery is housed in a stunning situation in No 1, Brewer St, actually a 16th Century building. Over the Summer much of it was redecorated and we have been working on the garden which is a magical oasis on the other side of the wall from the busy bus-filled chaos of St Aldate's. In the middle of the garden is a climbing frame, now repainted, for the enjoyment of the nursery pupils.
At the end of last term, our Registrar, Clare James, took some magnificent photos of the leaving Form 8s as a memory of that year. One of my favourites was of three teenagers, about to go off to their senior schools, crouching in the nursery climbing frame. These were the boys who had been at CCCS all the way through, from Nursery to Form 8 – that's ten years at the school. When one is 13 that is a significant percentage of one's life. It struck me, looking at the photo, what a profound effect our school can have on its pupils and the depth of the responsibility which we have for those boys in particular, but of course for all our pupils. Naturally such a responsibility is a privilege too – a privilege for which I am always grateful.
Last week the Parents' Association celebrated the end of the week with their wine-tasting competition. It was an event which was much enjoyed, as are all the events put on by the Parents' Association. It was a blind tasting with some guidance and, following my catastrophic performance last year, many were determined that I should do terribly again! I am pleased to say that our table performed magnificently and won the celebratory bottle of Prosecco as a result. It was very gratifying that, rather like in the story of Joseph, a year of famine can be followed by a year of plenty. I learnt much that evening - never give up, never be cast down by the scoffing of doubters and attend PA events, which are always fun.