Headmaster's Blog Archive

Challenges, Goals and Resolutions

Friday, January 12, 2018 by Justin Chippendale

This week we have slid wondrously smoothly back into the ebb and flow of our daily routines – and blissfully free of coughing and spluttering. ‘Happy New Year’ is just about a phrase of the past as we look forward and set ourselves to work on all the events that lie ahead. January can be a less exhilarating time of the year but does allow us to get some sustained, undiluted hard yards under the belt in several disciplines, but most notably in class.

It is true that January can be a time when some feel not yet full of the joys of Spring ahead and, indeed, next Monday is the one that has become known as ‘Blue Monday’. Someone recently pointed me in the direction of a calendar from Action For Happiness which has some great daily suggestions whether you’re feeling somewhat glum or not! Do click here to have a look at it.

You will see that one of the recommendations is ‘Take a small step towards an important goal’ and, coincidentally, this is similar to my thoughts for the children during Monday’s assembly. New Year’s Resolutions are brilliant if you can make them stick and deliver on the promise. Equally, though, there are times that our best intentions fall on stony ground for a variety of reasons and one of them is that they become a burden or responsibility that is too great to bear due to the scale of the challenge. Starting out small and gently nurturing the idea can mean that after a little while you can see what the next step may be and then a tad further on the path ahead reveals itself once more until the route to completion becomes not only clearer but, importantly, with just a manageable distance to go.

A challenge and a glum-busting antidote not so far ahead is the Friends of King’s Hall Quiz night which I hope you’ll have in your diary by now and be gathering a team of 6 - only four weeks of swotting left! Click here or see the Newsletter to enter.

Have a good weekend.

Despite Holiday Bugs, its Christmas Business as Usual!

Friday, December 15, 2017 by Justin Chippendale

This week is usually dominated by one theme. It is wall to wall Christmas events as we gather together as a community to share in each other’s fellowship, peace, companionship, goodwill and camaraderie. It has absolutely been that way again this year but another theme has certainly had a bearing – illness. It also seems we are sharing in each other’s bugs and children, staff and parents have fallen victim to the lurgy and been removed from the scene at various times over the last seven days. It certainly feels that the holidays are a welcome ‘firebreak’ on the road back to our communal health.

There were only 3 children in 3G on Monday and Mrs Gompels herself was away on Thursday (any connection?), we had double figures of staff away at one point and yet performances, trips, celebrations, gatherings and parties have all taken place as they should: just look through the evidence in the Newsletter. A massive thank you to the many unsung heroes who make this all possible with their enormous efforts behind the scenes.

I do hope that you all stay hale and hearty over the Christmas season and share many warm moments, fine fayre, lovely libations and can immerse yourself in festive fun, frolics, family and friends as often as possible.

Until 2018, all good wishes to you from HEADlines.

Seasonal Cheer and Merriment Still the Order of the Day!

Friday, December 8, 2017 by Justin Chippendale

Today saw the first mince pie of the festive season brought to my lips! After this morning’s Nursery Nativity the throng of parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties and friends etc all enjoyed a cup of tea and seasonal sustenance over which to ‘ooh and ahh’ about the magical charm of the tiny children’s portrayal of the familiar story.

Last night, I watched the excellent production of ‘The Great Gatsby’ at the College with several former King’s Hall pupils involved: following the School of Rock I have seen plenty of shows recently and still have the Pre-Prep Nativity to look forward to next Friday.

Earlier in the week I popped up to Shrewsbury to spend some time with our new Director of Finance and Operations from January, Simon Worthy. It was really good to see him on his own patch and get to understand a little more about each other. Furthermore, he is currently at Prestfelde School, a 30 acre suburban prep school, and it is always a pleasure and a benefit to observe how others do something similar to yourself – I noticed that parents and grandparents enjoyed their tea and biscuits after their Nursery Nativity in a very similar way! I know Simon is very excited about the move to King’s Schools and looking forward to becoming involved in the multifarious aspects of the role.

On to ‘the big day’ … I see the odds on a white Christmas are currently 4/1! Today there has been a great deal of chatter amongst the children (and adults!) hoping for a quick blanket of white here to add to the increasingly seasonal mood. It doesn’t look likely to fall thickly enough to affect our Carol Service on Sunday which is good as the choirs have been preparing and it will be lovely to see all the Prep families for a fabulous celebration together… followed by more mince pies!

Ho Ho Ho! Christmas is Coming!

Friday, December 1, 2017 by Justin Chippendale

Pinch, punch, first day of the month. Winter ‘officially’ begins today. The season of Advent begins on Sunday, although no doubt children (and at least one adult I know) have enjoyed starting their advent calendar countdown this morning. Christmas trees have started appearing around the school today ready for decoration. Nativity rehearsals are creeping in as are the distant sounds of carols being prepared. I can almost hear Andy Williams crooning “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”.

There is a definite sense of entering the season of goodwill that means so much to us all. An important haven each year as we will relax to fully immerse ourselves in that which is most important to us all: our families and friends. True, there are exams for four classes next week but Christmas treats are being lined up everywhere, the weather is doing its bit to be Jack Frost and the level of good cheer (despite the increasing busyness) is high.

Having had seasonal events such as Remembrance and fireworks, this time next week we will be putting finishing touches to the Carol Service and I look forward to seeing all Prep children and families next Sunday 10th December at King’s College Chapel, 5.30pm, for what is always a highlight of this term full of warm-heartedness and affirmations.

Long weekend, now, as a last mini-breather before the final session of term - definitely evenings for lighting the fire and on Sunday we will be lighting the first Advent Candle.

White rabbits!

From Chapel to School of Rock...

Friday, November 24, 2017 by Justin Chippendale

Yesterday morning we were gathered in the Arts Centre for Chapel with the School Banner standing proudly at the back, the cross and candles gently put in place by sedately moving children, Father Mark leading us calmly through his thoughts, making sure we did some 7:11 breathing and generally the tranquil oasis of a gathering at peace pervaded as it does every Thursday morning.

On the periphery of this scene, you could see some of the accoutrements required for the production of School of Rock. Just in front of the choir (in their smart ecclesiastical robes) were three electric guitars standing patiently at attention, just to the north of Mr DJ was a tower of audio equipment with blinking lights and slides (one could almost sense the throbbing hum within), in front of the staff on the left was a footlight spot, off but furtively peeking around the corner, and lurking in the wings were signs of staging panels sitting quietly at rest but eager to be allowed out.

In the same space yesterday night (and will be again this evening) a whole world of raucous rock was unleashed as Year 8 gave a rip-roaring performance full of energy, pace and appropriate boisterousness far removed from the mood of a few hours previously. The children were so enthused by their combined efforts – and their energy breathed life into those inert objects mentioned above that were finally let off the leash to fulfil their purpose.

Talk about a game (or in this case a room!) of two halves…

Please click here for our Weekly Newsletters

Back to the top of the page