Having a Ball!
Friday, February 28, 2014 by Richard Biggs
The Parents' Association Valentine's Ball was a rip-roaring, foot-stomping, banner-waving success. What a hoot. The weather was appalling, the catering had to move from the planned marquee (which would not have lasted a minute) into the fitness suite. Guests arrived soaked and windswept, but we had a ball. A wonderful ball. Best of all we managed to raise over several thousand pounds for the Woodard School in Kenya. We'll make sure that money is well spent on a specific project for the school. My thanks and undying admiration go to the brave band of parents and to Fiona my PA, for the astonishing effort they put into the organisation of this very special King's event.
After the excitement of the ball the half term break was a welcome respite. Time to rest and to recharge. We enjoyed one stunning walk on Exmoor with the dogs, involving a rather lengthy lunchtime layover in a glorious pub in Winsford. And then a slight element of getting lost on the moors while trying to find the car, just enough to get the adrenalin flowing. Perfect.
This week has flown by. We've had the pleasure of welcoming 13+ scholarship candidates to King's. They are, as ever, a delightfully upbeat, sparky bunch and I enjoyed interviewing them. I hope they have not found the experience too challenging (I mean the scholarships, not necessarily my interview...). They'll be the core, I am sure, of an exciting bunch of third formers joining the school in September.
There was a pop and rock concert on Tuesday night. Actually this description seems slightly inaccurate. There was one rock band, of third and fourth formers, and they were fantastic - properly loud and dynamic! Perhaps we should rename the event the "sad ballad and funky folk" concert. It's good to see the pupils enjoying quieter, more contemplative music, and fantastic to see such a strong folk tradition developing. The standard was extremely high. A highlight for me was Jo Merriweather singing Billy Joel's She's Always a Woman to Me for his mum. So moving.
Because we no longer have January A level module exams (which I firmly believe is a Good Thing) we are holding trial exams next week for all sixth formers. It will be interesting to see whether we've got the timing right - late enough to cover most of the syllabus, but early enough to take remedial action in the light of the results. I get the distinct feeling that both year groups are working hard right now (I popped up to the library during Prep last night and it was absolutely full of sixth formers working hard…quite a sight!), which is encouraging, and I wish them every success next week.
We're beginning to plan a grand opening of our new amphitheatre for next term. Greek tragedy? A marathon of recitations? The Tempest? The Big Band belting out jazz numbers? Perhaps a bit of each? We'll see. We can't wait to get into that new space and see how it feels and sounds. I'm assured the finishing touches, including a spot of landscaping (aka spreading the stuff around that came out of the hole) are on their way...