Several years ago, as Head of a leading Prep School in the south-west, I introduced myself to the poetry of former Laureate Sir John Betjeman, the man who was perhaps most famous for his opening line, “Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!”.
Betjeman had written more sympathetically about the charming seaside resort Sidmouth. Being a man especially interested in town planning, church architecture and God, he wrote often about religion, too.
One poem which particularly struck me came back to mind this week. Called ‘Diary of a Church Mouse’, it will appeal to readers of all ages, even with its satirical undertones. And it is a particularly appropriate poem to read at this time of the year, when we celebrate the Harvest Festival.
Once our week had got underway with an excellent Senior Schools presentation evening led by senior schools co-ordinator Mrs Ayub, our focus was fully on Harvest.*
Indeed, it was the theme for the final week of this half term. When we welcomed the parents of Nursery and Reception children to Chapel on Tuesday morning, the children sang beautifully -and with special vigour – Dingle Dangle Scarecrow, one of my favourite this-time-of-year tunes.
Years 1 and 2 celebrated a wonderful Harvest celebration for their parents on Thursday. The older children led the service with such confidence that it was easy to forget they are only six and seven years of age. Again thank you to the parents for their continued support of all school events.
Not to be outdone, The Prep School celebrated Harvest on Wednesday with Rev Jo Jennings of St John’s Harborne as our guest speaker. Rev Jo, the former BCS librarian-turned-vicar was on super form discussing the Festival. Once again our Chapel Choir and probationers were majestic, and it was a joy to have the Prep School together as one for this important event.
Year 5 had a wonderful visit to KES on Tuesday to meet author Steve Cole, an author of children’s books and science fiction. Steve was in charge of BBC Worldwide’s merchandising of the BBC Television series Doctor Who between 1997 and 1999 and as executive producer on the Big Finish Productions range of Doctor Who audio dramas.
This week I have enjoyed visiting a number of classes to see the children in action. The teachers were challenging and caring but most importantly I observed practitioners who really know what makes your children tick. I must thank them for all the hard work this half term.
Finally to the children: well done in all that you have achieved. Next half term come back focused and with a similarly dynamic work ethic – and keep reaching for the stars.
Happy holiday to all!
*Incidentally, If you were unable to attend Mrs Ayub’s evening please keep an eye out for the important slides that accompanied her talk.