Festive Fridays

Published on: Friday, December 10, 2021

This week has seen Christmas well and truly land.  The trees I mentioned last Friday have all now been decorated. The enormous one at the front of school was beautifully done by the boarders helping me and Mrs Chippendale after they had been Christmas shopping and skating at Cribbs Causeway.

Also, as mentioned last Friday, I saw The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in the evening and was so enthralled by the collective telling.  The company clearly understood the tale they were telling and combined with such fun and enthusiasm to carry us along with them – the fact there was a great deal of individual and collective talent to enjoy was the icing on the cake… or perhaps the chocolate around the Turkish delight?

From the oldest children in the school last Friday to the youngest this morning, on the same stage, but now re-dressed as Bethlehem and not Narnia, the 2, 3 and 4 year olds recounted the story of the first Christmas as Nursery performed A Wriggly Nativity.  Escaping donkeys, mildly recalcitrant tractor-driving chickens and the odd wardrobe malfunction were some of the minor sideshows but at its core the children were gorgeous and energetic and should be thoroughly proud of themselves – well done the staff, too, in getting them so calmly into that shape.

It is pretty much Christmas all the way from here on in with our Carol Service on Sunday at 5.30pm in the College chapel up next – see you there.

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Musical Trees

Published on: Friday, December 3, 2021

A huge THANK YOU to the Chief Pelican for so calmly and charmingly making the Friends of KHS Barn Dance such fun last week.  Around 70 people enjoyed a terrific five-piece band play live music and lead us through twists, turns (a few wrong ones of those!), animal impressions whilst promenading, stars, do-si-dos all combining sufficiently aligned to create what could certainly be called dancing! A hog roast from Pyne’s was enjoyed and many supportive hands made for pretty light work.  There is no doubt, however, that Donald and Bea Rice made the whole thing trip along so smoothly.

There was more live music on Wednesday when we had a visit to Chapel from Bruce Izzett and his Christian Band.  They were loud and tuneful and powerful and diverse with people from Zimbabwe, different areas of the US, Canada, India as well as more locally. Bruce himself has palpable but understated presence and the sheer energy of them all was a very uplifting opening to our day.

We had no music on Monday for assembly as the piano was still hidden following the visit of the Rural Living Show over the weekend but it did not detract from a really terrific talk from Roger Neale, our Head Groundsman, about trees.  We have been taking down trees and clearing bushes recently.  Now everyone knows that trees are an important part of our ecology and efforts to combat carbon emissions, don’t they? Roger explained to the school that we were not doing it for fun but that the trees removed are all diseased and hence unsafe and the bushes are mainly laurel which puts toxins into the ecology and hinder other growth.

Even better, Roger went on to say that his application to the Woodland Trust for trees to plant was granted and we have 470 new trees to plant. Some – Year 3 today, in fact – will be planted by the children but all of them will have a number and be associated with a child or someone who works here.  We’ll have a record of location, species and name of person.  Everyone then can check on their tree over the next 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 years.  We have about 7000 trees on site plus the parkland and ponds meaning we more than offset our carbon usage but we will continue to make this an agenda item not only for us operationally but in our education of the children.

Other trees that have appeared around school are in preparation for future festive fun and I see Roger’s team have also been putting up some outside lights. 

There are also trees to be seen as part of the brilliant senior play as we travel to Narnia.  Here, too, there is more live music with the band having a current and past member of the school in its midst as well as some excellent singing. I have peeped at snippets here and there of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe but I will witness the complete production tonight and I’m sure I will see a good many of you there.

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