Headmaster's End of Term Letter
We hope that all Old Kimboltonians are keeping well and safe in these unprecedented times. To keep former pupils updated, the Headmaster's End of Term Letter has been published for OKs to read.
Thursday 26th March, 2020
This is not the end-of-term missive which I had envisaged writing even a couple of weeks ago. Lenin once said, “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades happen”. I am sure that we can all relate to that.
There has been a surreal feel to the School this week; not holiday-time … but not term-time either. Pupils whose parents are key workers have been in School, in uniform, following their online courses and kicking a football around (boys and girls) at lunchtime. However, with the Prime Minister’s lockdown edict on Monday, numbers have been below twenty. We are keeping the School open over the Easter holidays with a skeleton staff to provide continuing support to those key workers who are doing such sterling work for us all.
Whilst you have been far too diplomatic/supportive to contact me directly, I realise that for almost all of you, the question of next term's fees is bound to loom large in your thinking, given the current situation and its likely ongoing nature. The Governors are certainly not deaf to this and we are looking at various ways forward, taking advice from our professional associations, to alleviate pressures where possible. Rather than act immediately and hastily, we want to explore all avenues before coming to a considered solution. The Chairman of Governors will be writing to you by the Easter weekend regarding Summer Term fees.
As I sit in my Castle study penning this, the sun is shining on the 1st XI square and I am itching to get out there – I imagine that many of our children are feeling much the same; perhaps in the context of rounders, tennis, sailing or the plethora of other Summer Term activities on offer. We do not know when the next set of school fixtures will take place, but take place they will, and we all hope wholeheartedly that this will be next term.
It is in adversity that we often find our true selves, a point I made in my ‘virtual Assembly’ to the Senior School on Monday. I am keeping a list by my computer of all the positive things that have come out of this crisis thus far; I have noted
- Only allowed out once to exercise? I’m going to make the best of it. (More indolent friends have messaged ‘does that mean exercise is now compulsory?’)
- Smiling at people in the street (albeit from 2 metres) without it appearing creepy
- How – can - I - help? - selflessness from so many – “What’s in it for me?” has gone underground
- Looking forward to catching up on that massive pile of reading which has been winking at me from my Study floor for months
- Pausing to really watch what’s happening in the garden as Spring unfolds
- Quiet roads (great for cycling)
- I now know how to wash my hands properly
I am sure that you can add your own and that the list will expand over the coming weeks as we fall more in tune with a slower pace of life. To really appreciate something, or somebody, takes time and we have plenty of that at the moment.
Time indeed to plan ahead for the Summer Term; our online provision will expand and encompass greater interactivity as we move forward. For our 5th Form for instance, bereft of GCSEs, we are introducing a Kimbolton Pre-A Level HeadStart Programme which will not only mean that our pupils will be able to hit the ground running with A Level in September, but also provide the opportunity for independent research which we can rubber-stamp and certify for future CV use.
These are extraordinary times and I do not have ‘all the answers’ at my fingertips (no change there then!). However, I do believe that by sticking together as a community, sharing the inevitable challenges which lie ahead, we can emerge stronger. Just imagine how delighted your son/daughter will be to get back into a real Maths classroom? Just imagine how happy you will be too?!
I will remain in touch. Holidays? Who needs them!