Musings from the Head’s Study – 19 April 2013

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For the pupils School has only been back three days (for the rest of us it has been somewhat longer) but in some ways it feels as if we have never been away. Power cuts and ceremonial funerals on Wednesday, whole school photo and GCSE drama practical on Thursday and GCSE French orals on Friday, along with an Art trip out on Wednesday for good measure – the highlight of which, so I was led to believe by Year 7, was not the great art that they had seen, but was the fact that they saw the Queen and Prince Philip on Sloane Square and that they waved back.

The power cut Wednesday afternoon was certainly something of a challenge – a cable cut accidentally in Victoria so we were told – and it made us all realise just how much we now depend on electrically powered technology, or as two Year 9s put it to me in the corridor just after School lost power, “how can we have lessons without data projectors?” It’s in circumstances such as those that traditional white boards with data projectors, as opposed to inter-active ones, really score because you can still write for the class. It was also very peculiar to be cut off from the outside world, because the telephone system was down (so apologies to any parent who tried to contact us in the afternoon but the phones just did not ring at our end) as was the Internet connections. I must admit to experiencing some initial anxiety over the fact that the mobile phone network seemed unresponsive when it first happened because that brought back memories of the London bombings, all too fresh given the dreadful events in Boston earlier in the week, but it was clear that it was just the system getting overloaded by people trying to find out what was going on.

If you were watching the TV coverage of Lady Thatcher’s funeral and you are particularly eagle-eyed then you might have spotted Mr Keeley in the St Paul’s Cathedral Choir. Having talked to him about the experience it was clear that it was an astounding one   – as he remarked to me it was amazing to be singing ‘I vow to thee, my country’ with the Queen a few feet away.

Finally, can I put in a plug for The Girl in the Blue Coat? This has been written and produced by a collaboration between Ms Ho and Mr Bignell and looks to be great. I will not be able to attend myself because I have been called up by the Independent Schools Inspectorate to help inspect a school between 1st – 3rd May (this is an obligation placed on all GSA Heads who have been trained as Inspectors), and thus will have to content myself by attending one of the Dress Rehearsals. You have the opportunity to attend the real thing. Don’t waste it! Tickets are available from the School Office.

With best wishes to you for a restful, and perhaps sunny, weekend.

R.M. Carlysle.

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