Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 21st March

It has been said that Manchester United were the Goliath of football and then along came David…and until Wednesday night David Moyes’ job was under considerable pressure. Another glorious night in Europe was notched up by the Reds as they comprehensively beat the Greek champions, Olympiakos, 3-0 (all three goals coming from ex-Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie) having been 2-0 down. The team were fluid and worked well together and produced a performance that could go on to win the most coveted prize in European football. Let’s not get carried away, however, but it is still possible for Manchester Utd to win, though they have to overcome the might of the current champions, Bayern Munich who they meet in the quarter final. So perhaps Moyes has had a stay of execution? If the team have indeed found their groove and can channel their energies then who knows – the footballing season is certainly going to produce a thrilling climax. And if you can’t wait that long, then we have a two tantalising fixtures tomorrow morning where the 1st and 2nd XI will be taking on Warminster School. Kick-off is at 1030 on the football fields – I look forward to seeing you there supporting the boys. Full details are on the sports section<> of the school website where information on all sporting fixtures, including results can be found – football (65 fixtures this term), rugby (boys and girls), netball, swimming and indeed all other sports the school offers. Speaking of other sports, with the F1 season having started in Malaysia last week, the Sexey’s Motor Sports Team have seized their opportunity and have qualified for the South Western Regional finals in April and their qualifying and racing times suggest that they have a realistic chance of reaching the national finals. We will, no doubt watch with baited breath as the team take on the numerous chicanes and pit stops at the fiendishly difficult Thruxton Circuit near Andover.

Flight MH370 was on our minds this week as we contemplated in assembly its disappearance – there is still no definitive news on its whereabouts even after 12 days and I cannot imagine what the family and friends of the passengers must be going through. We all know in our hearts that we will eventually find the answer, and we all suspect that the eventual answer will be of little consolation to those grieving. But in the meantime, I take something positive from the sheer volume of global speculation – because it tells me that we as a species are still full of hope and care. This is one of the first times I can remember when the whole human race has seemed at one in their sympathy and their concern for others. As the story of MH370 unfolds and is followed around the world we are seeing how the internet and 24-hour news are turning the 200 nations of the earth into a single global public, in a way we have never seen before. As a school community we paused for a couple of minutes to reflect and be still (mindfulness) to give us the opportunity to think about this awful incident and to hopefully find some peace in our stressed out, multi-tasking lives. I hope this period of mindfulness will bring benefits to us – taking time out to think, to reflect can only be a good thing. Our Italian friends certainly found it enlightening and I hope they gained an insight into English culture in our traditional but modern boarding school.

As the sun beams through the windows of my study (a far cry from the hail and rain of a few weeks ago) I watch the boys playing ‘Squares’ and I think about our community and how we all strive to make it a better place for all of us. The Y10s are at my study door bribing me with sweets, itching to find out if they have been selected to become prefects and how they will contribute to the community. I had better go and make my selection…

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