I am writing my contribution to the School’s Blog early this week because, of course, Thursday is Prize-giving when we are all going to be just a little busy, and Friday is the Occasional Holiday granted by the Governors in recognition of the achievements of the Prize -winners and therefore there will be no one in the School Office to post this up to the Blog. It has been a very strange experience preparing for this, my last Prize-giving as a Head (and as a teacher for that matter). This event has always been very important to me, but this time really very much so. This has led me to reflect on it all even more than I usually do.
Occasionally I am asked by pupils, and parents, what the point of it all is, especially if they themselves are not winning a Prize or receiving an Award. But to have that view, namely that it is only relevant if one is directly involved, is really to miss the point because we are all directly involved because we are all part of the community which makes up More House, and which makes it the very unusual and powerful place that it is. Prize-giving is an opportunity for the School, as a community, to take stock of how far it has traveled during the year and to celebrate its successes both on an individual and communal basis.
It is a time to re-assert for ourselves, and for the wider world, what we stand for and by so doing become stronger still. Such symbolic moments matter terribly because they articulate, in physical form, the things that we hold true. Without regular re-statements of this there is a danger that boundaries become blurred and that practical compromise and pragmatism slide into simple lazy acquiescence. Prize-giving is also about inspiration, aspiration and example on so many levels ~ for example this is why the Staff wear their academic dress. Our profession is trained not to make our real academic ability and achievements overly obvious to the girls because this can be seen to be counterproductive ~ self – aggrandizement has very little role to play in the process of teaching. Yet the reality is that your daughter’s teachers are highly qualified and trained individuals. Their academic dress, especially to those who can read it, symbolises this. It is also an act of respect towards the Prize-winners themselves signalling that we are all members of the same learning community. Prize-giving is a lesson in the power of communities or teams. It allows one to understand that in a team, bound together by shared ethics and honour- driven obligation, victories taste sweeter and defeats sting less. Loss can be absorbed, grief borne, joy shared. This is why Prize-giving is a ‘big deal’ on so many different levels.
May I remind you that both the Christmas Fayre and the Autumn Production are now starting to appear on the ‘events radar’. Please keep the dates free for both of these events. The MHSPA Committee have put a great deal of time and effort into the preparations for what should be a great Christmas Fayre and the girls, with their Form Teachers, are already formulating ideas for their charity stalls. Rehearsals for Into the Woods are gathering momentum (in fact there will be a rehearsal in School during the Occasional Holiday) with tickets going on sale in the near future.
My thanks, on behalf of the PE Department and the girls of the Netball Squads, to MHSPA for their grant to buy a further two sets of the new Netball Team Strip, following up on their original grant to purchase the first two sets. This has proved to be a real hit with the girls and has caused more than a little envy amongst our opponents (and their Staff it has to be said).
And finally: ~ confirmation that there actually is a Mamma Mia! sing-along being held immediately after School on 27th November. This event is a follow up to the very successful Grease sing-along and is to raise funds for the World Challenge team.
With best wishes for the Prize-giving weekend,
The weeks ahead
|Monday 18th November||Inter-House Brains week begins
P2 ~ 1pm: Year 8 Music trip
3.30 ~ 4.30pm: Senior Chamber Choir
Evening: LVI Theatre trip
|Tuesday 19th November||All day: VIth Form Chemistry lectures
P5 & 6: visiting lecturer for Year 8 RS
4.30 ~ 6pm: U13 & U14 Netball
4 – 6pm: VIth Form Art Portfolio Club
4.30 ~ 6.30pm Year 7 Parents’ Evening
|Wednesday 20th November||4-5pm: U15 Netball v Queen’s Gate
U12 ~ U15 Swimming v Latymer
6pm: More House Singers
|Thursday 21st November||P2 – P9: UVIth Classical Civilisation trip
10am ~ 12 noon: U12 ~ U14 Cross-
country v Queen’s Gate
4 ~ 5.30pm: U12 A & B netball v Francis
4 ~ 6pm: VIth Form Life Drawing Class
4.30pm: Junior Informal Concert
6.30pm: Senior Informal Concert
|Friday 22nd November|
|Sunday 24th November||9.30 ~ 4.30pm Into the Woods rehearsal|
|Monday 25th November||P1 ~ Lunch: 7HR & 7JS trip to the British
All Day: VIth Form Music trip
|Tuesday 26th November||All Day: Year 11 Study Skills training
P2-9: LVIth Classical Civilisation trip
4-6pm: VIth Form Portfolio Club
4.30 ~ 6pm: U13 A,B,C,D netball teams v
4.30 ~ 6.30pm: Year 11 Parents’ Evening
|Wednesday 27th November||All Day: VIth Form Study Skills training
4~5pm U12 A & B teams v Queen’s
3.30pm: Mama Mia! Sing-along
6pm: More House Singers
|Thursday 28th November||All day: Year 11 into 6th Form Taster Day
Christmas Tree arrives
Lunchtime: Food for Thought lunch
4-6pm: VIth Form Life Drawing
4.30 -5.30pm:U16 Netball v Queen’s Gate
|Friday 29th November||After School: Year 7 Sleepover
|Sunday 1st December||9.30am -4.30pm: Into the Woods rehearsal|
The Prayer in the Chapel this week:
To You, O God, we turn for peace.. but grant us too the blessed assurance that nothing shall deprive us of that peace, neither ourselves nor our foolish earthly desires.