Headmaster's Blog | Saturday 26 September

26 September 2020


So the Autumn Equinox passed this week and my word, didn’t the autumn kick in almost immediately! That said, the appetite of the boys to enjoy the fresh air and space we have here has not subsided one bit, although one or two day boys missed their heavy coat! With our plans to move to football after exeat, I feel we have timed the switch perfectly. Your kind words about us squeezing in a mini cricket season have been much appreciated.

We’re back to normal now, adaptations aside, in so many ways and with lesson observations by senior teachers and our peer observation protocols getting started, I am reminded that our approach should be crystal clear for you all: we want the boys to fulfil their academic potential and enjoy the all-rounder experience we value as this develops good character. Our teachers have an appetite for improvement and our pedagogical target is to increase the boys critical thinking. A good number of them need to be more questioning – maybe reflect on the conversations you have with them at mealtimes.

Thank you also to those of you who have given me the ‘thumbs up’ following the nomination at the annual Tatler Schools Awards 2020. If any year hinged on a successful team effort it must be this year. Every member of the Caldicott team has played their part and we will see what happens. There’s tough opposition, not least from Sophie Green, Godstowe’s Head, who is pretty impressive as many of you know!

We are heading towards Harvest Festival and then exeat begins next Friday. Please take careful note of the collection arrangements as this time is one of those pinch points I have mentioned to you before. In keeping the integrity of the bubbles I am conscious that it may come across as awkwardness when all you want to do is get away. I’m sorry about this and we’re certainly looking at what we can do about departure time for siblings at exeat. This point flows neatly into how we start boarders’ visiting on Wednesday afternoon. My concern here is that boarders with parents based in London may now think that it may not make any sense coming to visit when there are no matches to watch and fewer venues at which you feel safe to visit. If you do not visit then it will be a relaxed evening for your son designed to balance with the fast pace on the other days and, as you’d expect, a full menu is served at supper. If sitting in your car with your son appeals then it would be a throwback to what I am told was colloquially known as ‘prison visiting’ in the old days!

Have a good weekend

Jeremy Banks

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