Headmaster's Blog | Friday 17 April 2020

17 April 2020


I sent a video message to my colleagues last week and it took me seven or eight attempts to get it right but it needed to be done. Maybe not so surprisingly I found recording the beginning of term assembly easier as I’ve performed that role so many times over the years. That said, it was odd – no, it was stronger than that, it was sad, very sad. With the inevitable news on Thursday that the lockdown will continue for at least three weeks, we are in this together but I do enjoy reading the articles suggesting 1 June might see us back to school! Fingers crossed.

Quite rightly, we have fielded a good number of questions that are all nearly entirely teething problems of one sort or another. We are already gathering feedback and data, which we will share at a weekly review meeting. At that time we look at the tweaks we need to make and we will make progress. Virtual Caldicott will grow and develop. I can’t recall the chapter in the book or in fact the exact nature of the content I am about to write about, but I will try. In Daniel Coyle’s book ‘The Talent Code’ two opposing organisations were in a race to manufacturer a product. One spent months working on how to develop the perfect product, forever pushing back the launch, while the other company distributed a weaker product, but listened to the feedback and quickly distributed version two, then version three. By the time version four was ready, the other company were finally ready to launch their product. I am sure you can guess what happened. Version four completely outsold the product that was so carefully constructed over such a long period of time. This is how I like to do things and so I am really excited about the new ways we are going to be encouraging the boys to learn and fascinated by the opportunity to launch something new, then see it evolve.

With sad news alongside the heart-warming stories we are all hearing, normal is far from our familiar understanding of the word but it is critical that we are calm and collected in front of our children. We’ve circulated some really interesting material about this in the Virtual Caldicott handbook. It may be worth taking a look?

To end on a high as best I can, just consider what a brilliant example of creativity all those amusing tweets have been for the boys. My top three: 1) The 4th Form Boys Happy Easter video (obviously) 2) BBC broadcaster commentating on his dogs eating their supper 3) Stranger on the roof of his house performing Freddie Mercury at Live Aid. Brilliant.

Have a good weekend.

Jeremy Banks

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