Back To School

For more details on how we are beginning our safe, orderly and effective transition back to school from 1 June, please read our Back to School Guides. Boys School. Girls School.

Head Boy’s Blog

It has been remarkable how seamlessly we have transitioned from classroom learning to remote digital learning and it is clear that there is and has been a fantastic level of effort from the teachers to ensure that our learning continues in the best way possible despite the circumstances.

Nevertheless, there have been a couple of things that by their very close nature have suffered as casualties of social distancing – namely team sports and drama productions.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I am happier spectating rather than actually participating in sports. So no-one is more surprised than me to find myself actually missing team sports.

Yes, we are all lunging and jumping our way through the Jo Wickes videos and get our daily dose of physical activity. But reluctant as I am to admit it, I actually miss matches and fixtures. Because sport is so much more than getting the government guideline level of activity in a week.

I miss the team spirit, the thrill of the match, the twists and turns, the highs and lows, the victories and disappointments. The breaking personal bests, pushing myself, the joy of finally being able to do it.

It’s life compressed into 90 minutes and played out on a field. It shapes the thinking and develops the character. And when we can take the lessons learnt on the pitch and apply them to life, we will have won the match.

The other part of school life I miss is drama. I get a real buzz from being on stage. Just before curtains up, the atmosphere is literally thrumming with excitement and nervousness.

Stepping on stage is like stepping inside a book in glorious colour and surround sound with all the heightened senses. It’s a step beyond reading. You become a character and all that they feel. You have to be tune with all the other characters that you share the stage with.

I have been a bird with a one-feathered tail; a market trader in Agrabah and a stern headmistress who is wistful about her youth. And each time I am in character, I am at once removed from the real world and yet never more in touch with my own emotions.

After all, there is nothing more fantastical than pretending you are a bird with light up feathers on your back (thanks to Mr Turner!) courting the affections of an elephant. Yet you have to reach deep within yourself to show her vulnerability, her insecurities and her journey from shy to sure of herself.

That’s the thing about drama. It connects you and removes you at the same time. Roles, characters and life situations that you wouldn’t normally be exposed to meet with the ability to reach deep within your wells of emotional intelligence.

So one of the most important things I have learnt in this period of online learning, is that school is not a place we come to gain literacy and numeracy skills and do some other activities to fill in the gaps. On the contrary, music, drama, art and sport are all integral parts of a well-rounded education and I am so pleased that we have the rich opportunities that we do.

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