The View From My Study – 9th December

At about 6pm last Friday, I found myself back-stage of the Ravenscroft alongside twenty or so of my colleagues, frantically trying to commit lines to memory before the curtains were opened to reveal the much-anticipated staff pantomime, Cinderella. With jokes, singing, and dancing galore, this was a panto in the truest of traditions with alarmingly convincing ugly sisters (even I didn’t recognise one of them) and a villainous Baroness! How we managed it at such a busy time of term I shall never know but these are the memories the children cherish, and they seemed abuzz on Saturday having seen their teachers in a very different light! With lots of audience participation it was a fabulous show and was testament to the hard work of the staff involved, especially Ms Thompson and Mrs Gillan who wrote, directed, choreographed and cajoled. Bravo!

The fun has been running throughout the week. We’ve had Christmas parties featuring Father Christmas, a magnificent Christmas Ball that the Upper School Princes and Cinderellas could all attend, a 4th Form production of The Demon Head (which was not a staging of my autobiography) and – a new favourite – the Pre-Prep Christmas shopping event. The children loved the responsibility of buying for others at the latter and I am so grateful, once again, to FAB for all their efforts in co-ordinating this experience as well as organising the brilliant Ball.

We say goodbye, today, to two of our ‘Gappies’: Mr Pelser and Miss Robson. They have both done a sterling job over the last twelve months, supporting the children in all areas of school life, notably on the sports pitches and in the boarding house. We wish them well as they move onto new adventures in Australia and the UK, respectively. Good luck to those pupils who are leaving us for pastures new, mainly due to family relocations. We wish you well.

And so to today. With an excellent mini Prize-Giving this morning, in which Cheadle reigned supreme in the Conduct Cup competition and Zara received the prestigious Bliton Cup, followed by the Prep Carol Service in Rugby School Chapel this afternoon, it was a spectacularly soulful and reflective way to end the term. I do hope many of you were able to attend and I also sincerely hope that you have a very merry Christmas, a very happy New Year, and a relaxing, fun-filled holiday. See you in January!

Gareth Jones

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