Headmaster’s Blog

This has been a really tremendous week in so many regards. Choral Evensong on Sunday Evening was sublime and as I watched the shaky footage of the service from Dina Porovic’s WhatsApp video, it was difficult not to feel a real sense of joy and gratitude.

The Chapel is once again a place of worship and our beloved Chapel Choir is back up and running under the masterful direction of Tom Edney. How fitting that the very first piece of music in the service was William Smith’s Preces and Responses. William Smith was Organist of Durham Cathedral during the period immediately prior to the English Civil War and this was Grace Gordon’s last performance with the choir before she heads off to study music at Durham University.

It has been another week of sporting triumphs and our 1st XI football team drew against Fleetwood Town U18s and scored an impressive victory (5-2) against another team from FTFC on Saturday morning. The game on Saturday was attended by scouts from various English clubs and at least one American university. Our new Director of Football, Joey Newson, is inspiring great performances out of the boys and the team dynamic is brilliant. The art department, learning development department and design and technology department were all busy over the weekend and it is lovely to see so many children picking up the threads of school life. Any concerns that school life might become a rather anodyne experience amidst COVID-19 restrictions have long since been dispelled.

As I explained at the beginning of the week, we are currently self-isolating at home. My temporary office is the girls’ toy room and we are struggling to juggle remote learning with the never-ending stream of Zoom meetings, lessons, emails and policy documents. The girls are missing their friends and having already missed out on so much this year it is a real shame. However, we are all feeling very well and looking forward to returning to School very soon.

Preparations are now underway for our second ever virtual Open Day. As you are aware, it is incredibly difficult to replicate the experience of visiting the School in person. However, we are very fortunate that, once again, Sven Knight and his team from Knight Rigging Services (KRS) have kindly agreed to bring their production wizardry and technical brilliance to the process. They are an absolute joy to work with and I was particularly impressed that Sven took a call from Uri Geller moments before we went live during our last open day! Luckily, Uri elected not to use his skills of psychokinesis to interrupt our flow.

If I was starstruck by the mention of Uri Geller and his spoons, I particularly enjoyed discovering, just yesterday evening, that another idol of mine, Marlene Dietrich, once lost a pearl earring at Blackpool Pleasure Beach when riding upon the Big Dipper back in 1934. Some seventy-three years later the earring was dredged up from the bottom of the Log Flume Lake. It is strange to think of Dietrich descending upon Blackpool and suffering a mishap whilst hurtling along upside down. On one level it is an utterly trivial story but it certainly reminds us of Father John’s maxim to live life with hope.

Marlene Dietrich takes in Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1934

Wishing everyone the happiest of weeks!
All best wishes,

Mr Jeremy Quartermain