Silence is golden – just 10 minutes sitting at lunch today during our Sponsored Silence proved that. The dining room was an oasis of tranquillity, and what a wonderful moment of informal meditation. Socialising over meals is a cornerstone of civilisation, and it wasn’t so good we should do it all the time, but it’s certainly something to think about every so often. A day fundraising for Children in Need saw some fun costumes traipsing around the King’s Loop and I know several children are looking forward to getting cosy in front of the TV this evening.
One of the last times I dressed up for school was in Doha when the King’s College Doha Head asked me to wear a penguin outfit for an animal themed assembly. Earlier in the week I was on Teams (not dressed as a penguin) for our termly Education Committee meeting with KCD. Those children who started in Year 4 when KCD opened 5 years ago are now making their GCSE option choices and there are 680 children in the school meaning it has increased by about 100 pupils each year. The development plans for a second site in Doha are in motion although challenged by competition for construction companies which is fierce due to the demands of the World Cup infrastructure requirements.
Yesterday saw our home-based Education Committee meeting where, as usual each term, updates for the whole age range from 2-18 are covered with curriculum, co-curriculum and pastoral aspects all considered in great depth. The whole governance structure requires finance, estates, compliance etc etc but the Education Committee is definitely the one at which we spend most time talking about what it is we actually do at the coal face. The Council members who sit on that committee include three past Headmasters, a Deputy Head, a recent Captain of Britannia Royal Naval College, a JP and an eminent Bishop so there is huge experience to draw on as we review and consider all that creates a King’s education. Long meetings but professionally very rewarding.
Back to lunchtime today, where the fact there was pea soup on offer allowed me to bring out an old favourite which I printed on a piece of paper (silence, remember). One side read “What’s the difference between mashed potatoes and pea soup?” The other? “Anyone can mash potatoes.”