Many of our children might be envious of those youngsters in Cornwall who, having travelled to northern Italy at half term, were required to stay away from school for a whole fortnight. Just imagine: no more sums; ten bonus lie-ins; lots more time to spend on the Xbox, treats galore!

Well, the spread of the Coronavirus might have some advantages in the short term for a tiny minority of people, but, as we know, it is having a huge detrimental impact medically, psychologically and economically – on a worldwide scale. Self-isolation will be a short-term excitement for those of school age. It should also be seen as a form of personal sacrifice for the benefit of the wider community. For those who have never been to – or heard of – Eyam, I can assure you that this idea of sacrifice is by no means novel.

A history lesson …..Three and a half centuries ago, when the Great Plague struck there, and 42 people died within four months, the people of this tiny Derbyshire village, under the direction of their newly appointed rector, William Mompesson, self isolated to protect all ‘outsiders’. End of lesson…

While we trust that things never again come to such a state, and now that those pancakes have all been tossed, we are bound to concentrate on all those smaller, more predictable sacrifices that are associated with Lent. Dire threats from outside may even strengthen our resolve to eat less, to give up chocolate, to get to bed at an earlier hour, to eschew sugar, to stop reading about Harry and Meghan or to take a daily cold bath: these are resolutions that are relatively insignificant, in the eternal scheme of things.

And such alarms as this virus can help us to realise how lucky we are to be able to function normally. Certainly, it has been wonderful to see the children working hard during my recent visits to the classes over the course of the week.

I very much enjoyed the thought provoking NSPCC assembly this morning, entitled, Speak out Stay safe! This assembly was a session that aims to equip children with the knowledge and understanding they need to stay safe from abuse and neglect. Children were taught to speak out if they are worried, either to a trusted adult or to Childline. Very powerful indeed.

The second half of the Lent term opened with the children diving into BCS Young Musician of the Year Heats. I hear from Mr Nicklin that the standard of musicianship is extremely high this term. Good luck to all involved. I look forward to seeing many parents at the Gala Concert on the 9th March. Please come and support this event.

Congratulations to our U9 boys who were Tournament winners at RGS The Grange with a golden goal scored by Remy Granger in extra time! Our U11 boys also came runners-up at the Aston Villa football finals. A great effort by all, scoring 25 goals and conceding just 2. Well done! There have been many super performances by many of our children: in the National IAPS netball event at Repton School and general performances within the local fixtures. Girls and boys alike really raise their game when representing the School. Well done to you all!

As always, please check the calendar for the final half term, as there is much going on. And do keep an eye open for any communication that we might issue on the virus.

Have a great weekend!

Mr Noel Neeson | Headmaster