Despite the best efforts of the three large storms of late, it is encouraging to witness the School grounds beginning to show the white, purple and yellow colours of springtime plants. It is with a degree of relief that we can all look forward to longer and warmer days ahead. Though the winter has not necessarily been that cold, it is good to think that the property-damaging, and in some cases life-changing, winds, frost and rain are over for another year.
Samuel Johnson wrote, ‘There is something inexpressibly pleasing in the annual renovation of the world and the new display of the treasures of nature’ and here at School, we have countless examples of this new life and new beginnings in our gardens and the surrounding countryside. It will not be too long before the apple and pear orchards will be full of their colourful blossom.
Traditionally, for many years, in this country Spring was the time to wash away the dust, soot and general grime that had built up in our houses during the long, dark winter months. When it was not so easy to spot the spiders’ webs in the corners of the room, but since the advent of electric lighting, the custom of spring cleaning has become less attached to a particular season. I would suggest that spring cleaning can still have some resonance for our School community as a reminder of new beginnings, of sweeping away the old to make way for something new. We can use the excitement of spring as a chance to start again with things that we would like to change about ourselves, the manner in which we approach School life and even the way we live. It is not easy and we may fail in a number of tasks, but it should serve as a learning curve to work harder at getting it right the next time.
Samuel Johnson also wrote, ‘every budding flower which a warm situation brings early to our view, is considered by us as a messenger to notify the approach of more joyous days’. We will feel that joy when we achieve our personal goals, whether it be learning a new spelling or just to zip up our coats.
These days, perhaps more than any other in our recent history, the signs of spring are a reminder of hope and new life, and in a world where we can feel our influence is so small we can concentrate on making new the things we can change.
I would like to thank all the gardens and maintenance team who work so hard in giving all of us such a beautiful environment in which to work and play.
To finish, it has been a busy week here with our inspection. There are various regulations in place about how much we can say at this stage, but we look forward to sharing the report when ISI have published the report in the Summer Term. The inspectors had so many positive things to say about the School and we very much enjoyed showcasing all we do over the last few days. It is also worth noting that the Senior School are starting a parental survey next week. We would like to inform you that a similar process will take place for the Prep School during the next academic year once Mr Scholey, the incoming Head, has had an opportunity to get to know the Prep School well.