Headmaster's Blog | Friday 13 November 2020

13 November 2020


Committed as we are to making your son’s experience as normal as possible, we have been tested further this week with the new restrictions that are in place until Wednesday 2nd December, yet this week has been closer to what we all want than you might have expected. Let me tell you more.

Rehearsals for ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ have continued with a breakout bubble of actors from the 5th and 6th Form. Ma’am Duncan and Mr. Evans have poured the same amount of energy into it as ever and the boys have risen to the challenge. As we cannot all go to watch the production, it is being filmed which, of course, the boys are loving. What is more to like than shooting your own movie. On Wednesday at 1100, our school community came together for the first time since the fire practice in September for our Act of Remembrance. Not only was it as deeply poignant as ever, we all felt something special for coming together as one community, albeit socially distanced. One observation we are currently wrestling with is that in keeping each year group bubble apart, the older bubbles are not showing the younger bubbles how we do things. It’s an annoying circuit breaker of our own so we have plans to teach and empathise all the important elements that makes Caldicott special. Wednesday evening saw the temporary reintroduction of General Studies for the boarders as visiting should not happen the way we have established in recent years. The boys were happily curled up on beanbags while watching the recent David Attenborough Netflix documentary. Although spread out, the boarders were together and with that came great comfort that we are and will always be one community, not several small ones. Incredibly for the boys, award winning author Cressida Cowell joined us for a virtual event that all the boys enjoyed – she was inspiring and fun too. The boys have been challenged to create their own mythical creature, and so we have the next library competition. On Friday afternoon, we have the House Debate with two very challenging topics: 1) Should we continue to study Shakespeare? and 2) Should extremist political parties be banned? This will be live streamed to all the boys in the 5th and 6th Form as well as parents. Normal means normal – these boys will see us make a success of these strange times.

Looking towards the end of term I am delighted that we have Parents’ Evenings via Teams for the 3rd and 4th Form. This will be the first time we take this approach and I warmly invite feedback on your experience. If you have any questions about these events, please get in touch. I also need to clarify how we expect the end of term to work and the beginning of next term too. We expect all boys to be at school until the end of term which is Tuesday 15th December for day boys or Wednesday 16th December for boarders. The beginning of term is Wednesday 6th January for boarders or Thursday 7th January for day boys. In the current circumstances I assure you that we will be sympathetic to any need you may have to leave slightly early or arrive back slightly late. This is the plan:

  • Any early departure for the Christmas holiday goes to Mr. Hutchings who will sanction it unless the departure date is before Monday 7th December, in which case parents must contact Lisa Botwright for a meeting with me.
  • Early departures do not get access to Virtual Caldicott and no additional work will be set. Boys are encouraged to speak to their tutor before departure and collect work where necessary.
  • Our access to Virtual Caldicott rules still apply i.e. Virtual Caldicott is only offered if a boy is self-isolated either with or without symptoms.
  • We expect all boys to be back for the start of the Spring Term 2021. However, if a period of quarantine is required that is not complete before term begins, during those first few days of term VC will be offered until boys can join us.

Have a good weekend.

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