From the Head Master

From the Head Master

It was a joy to welcome the parents of Year 7 2022 to the School on Tuesday night for the annual Cocktail Party that marks the conclusion of our structured ‘onboarding’ programme for the new Year 7 students. Events of this sort are invaluable in connecting parents to one another and to key staff at the School. I was delighted to see the number in attendance and a good time appeared to be had, to the degree that folk had to be encouraged to leave!

Last Saturday we conducted an Open Day for the parents and boys of the incoming Year 7 class of 2024 who are not already enrolled in the Preparatory or Junior School. Although it was a sub-optimal day for such an event, with numerous cancelled sporting fixtures and the inconveniences associated with the rain, the enthusiasm displayed by the young boys was heartwarming. It was also an opportunity for me to hear some of our Year 12 School Officers speaking to parents about their School, which was equally encouraging.

One of the outcomes of the remote learning experience in the last two years has been to sharpen an appreciation of the normal school experience. While there will always be some aspects of school that grate on some of us some of the time, the reality is that coming together to learn as a community is vastly to be preferred to the alternative. It is a good thing to be reminded of the good things we enjoy.

As an aside, I commenced my reflections last week with a passing reference to ‘persistent rain’, as an example of the disruptions that are coming our way. In writing, I did not anticipate the natural disaster that has unfolded over the last few days. It is remarkable to reflect that between war in Europe and flooding in Australia, the pandemic has been reduced to a footnote in the evening news bulletins.

Nonetheless, the coronavirus continues to be with us and the School has seen a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases and household contacts over the last seven days, particularly in the Junior School. Today there were sixty-nine students isolating as household contacts, and one hundred and twenty four confirmed cases. The Junior School is the most heavily affected at the moment, with seventy-six confirmed cases. Thankfully, anecdotal evidence confirms the public health advice that suggests that most young people who become infected are not likely to be very sick. Nonetheless, the School wishes to underline and emphasise the well-known mitigants, including the importance of vaccination both for prevention and to reduce the risk of severe illness.

Detur gloria soli deo

Tim Bowden | Head Master

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