Headmaster's Blog

A Week in the Life of ...

Friday, February 10, 2017 by Justin Chippendale

So, half term arrives to provide an opportunity for a little ‘r and r’ as we move through the Lent Term. Here are some brief moments from my week before you dive into the collective reflections from the Prep community as a whole which appear in our weekly newsletter: I hope you all enjoy the break ahead with your children.

Monday: a fairly routine start to the week with some policy reviews, regular weekly meetings, showing round another set of prospective parents (we had had 11 ‘visits’ in the previous seven days), chatting to children and, in very British fashion, talking about the weather!

Tuesday: after a day including such matters as interview practice sessions for the children, some thoughts about our next Annual Fund and enjoying a Pony Trekking assembly it was a treat to sit back and wallow in two hours of wonderful music making from a very wide range of ages and instruments. Many congratulations to a myriad of children and to Mr DJ for a hugely successful evening.

Wednesday: in my regular conference call with King’s College Doha we discussed further external developments over there (from IT to a big pirate ship in the playground) as well as plans for next year. The Headmaster, Nick Gunn, will be at King’s Hall for a couple of days after half term recruiting some new staff for September as the school grows. An official Opening Ceremony is to be held in the middle of March.

Thursday: I spent the day at the termly IAPS District 4 gathering of which I am Chairman. This term’s event was in Bath and also included Heads of Pre-Prep, so Mrs Luckhurst came, too. There were interesting talks and included Ian Gilbert encouraging us to develop schools with Brave Heads and ‘Lazy’ Teachers: teach less and learn more – don’t let children just become databases of information but empower them to embrace confusion and creativity.

I then spent Thursday evening at the excellent Friends of King’s Hall Quiz night. Chief Pelican, Julian Mack, more than ably assisted by the future Chief Pelican, Emily White, led a King’s College Woodard Room packed with about 100 people through questions on Somerset, Trump, Tube Station emojis and others with great charm, creating a thoroughly entertaining atmosphere.

Friday: half term starts this afternoon sandwiched by Inter-House Cross Country relays beforehand and an 8CE Parents’ Meeting just afterwards. This morning Mr DJ celebrated all the participants in the Taunton Music Festival from the last fortnight and I was then delighted to hand out the Class Plus Cup which is given every half term to the Class/Tutor Group with the highest average of Pluses (given for kindness and thoughtfulness). It is Mme Harvey’s group who will enjoy having the Cup in their room for the next five weeks.

Saturday: Claire and I will be heading up to the Symphony Hall, Birmingham to watch about 30 of our choir join with other Woodard Schools to make a huge choir. 1000 Woodard Voices is an event that has been in construction for several months and we are very much looking forward to hearing the fruits of their labours and enjoying what I am told is a spectacular and world-renowned venue.

Sunday: nothing in the diary for at least 24 hours!

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