Headmaster’s Newsletter – 19 June 2020

Dear Parents,

It seems extraordinary to say that we are already coming to the final two and half weeks of the academic year. Under normal circumstances the regular curriculum would be beginning to wind down after the end of year assessments and preparations for Field Day would be to the fore along with trips, excursions and picnics. These are clearly not possible in the same way at the time being. Therefore, we have been looking into different options to make the end of term, and particularly the final day of term,  a meaningful event rather than term just petering out. We have now settled on a broad outline of what will take place. Your Senior Tutors will be writing to you soon, with the various plans they have for the final few days of school.

On the final day of term, Wednesday 8 July, we are asking all children to remain at home and to take part in a number of online events. All classes will register with their Form Tutor at 9am as normal via Google Classroom. During this Form time all classes will watch a Virtual End of Term Assembly together. It will also be made available on YouTube, as before, for parents to watch. There will then be a “Virtual Field Day” for every year group at specific times during the day. These will be a mixture of live interactive “events” and pre-recorded items. It is anticipated that each “Field Day” will last for about 30 minutes. Each section will have an interactive sport event and most year groups will have a dance or something similar. Field Day will, of course, end with our traditional Flag Display. The intention is that parents and pupils will watch/take part in Field Day as families at home.  Although it will not be the same as our normal Field Day, we very much hope that in a small way the essence of this unique event can be transmitted over the Internet.

This term every pupil in Hans Place has participated in the annual Main School Writing Competition. Pupils were asked to choose one painting from the list below and use it as an inspiration for a story of their choice, the subject or title of the painting having no bearing on their writing – just the mood, the scene and such like. 

The paintings to choose from were:

‘Man Proposes, God Disposes’ by Edwin Landseer

‘On Strike’ by Hubert Von Herkomer

‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’ by John Singer Sargent.

Congratulations to the following pupils. 

Lower Transitus: Isabella Charlton, Keira Daly, Mirah Raweh, 

Lower Senior School: James Harris, Gabriel Hunter-Jones, Kaden Isaac, Leopold Pross, Giulio Tittoto, George Waite. 

Upper Transitus: Lily Bannerman-Adams, Tess Floden, Aurore Negre, Catherine Perusset, Mary Rees-Mogg, Elisa Vargas Valle

Upper Senior School: Alexander Adamides, Nikolas Ioannidis, Ismail Longia-Zaidi, Boris Nezlobin, Conrad Strauven. 

Lower Sixth: Aiyad Ahmed, Thomas Drew, Harper Hastings, James Kennedy, Peter Rees-Mogg, Fitz Taylor.

Upper Sixth: Angus Kinnear, Matteo Massaro, Jasper Na Chiangmai, Oscar Nathan, Adam Seydo.

Looking forward to September we are planning to open the whole school as normal on Wednesday 2 September as planned, unless directly prohibited by the Government.  It is deeply regrettable that many of the children have physically been away from school for so long. However, the Tutors have made gallant efforts these past months to keep the children engaged, active and enthusiastic and those pupils who have engaged with it fully will reap the benefits. However, we have all missed the essential spirit of community, which is the life blood of a real school. We look forward to returning to a more normal situation in September but we must also be prepared for it to be different.

In the coming week those who will be in the Upper Sixth Form will be receiving invitations to the Geography courses in Glion. Please respond promptly as, with the current airline problems, tickets will have to be confirmed well in advance if we are to get the dates we prefer.  In the following week there will be invitations to six skiing courses.  It may seem odd to be thinking about snow when Summer has hardly happened but here again airline tickets are likely to be snapped up faster than usual from the present much reduced flight schedules.  We are aware that one course of boys missed their chance of skiing this year because of the enforced school closure and they will receive an individual invitation in due course.  Details of the Sixth Form girls’opportunity to visit Glion in November will be sent before the end of term.

Best wishes,

Richard Townend