“When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy,William Blake
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by;
When the air does laugh with our merry wit,
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;”
The day, if I’m lucky, starts with birdsong soon interrupted by the odd voice that is carried up on the breeze. A clack of keyboards can be followed by the static crackle of the walkie-talkie. The kettle’s rumbling boil hails the gradual population of the school and then the ever increasing build of many human voices exchanging the latest news, gossip and chat all ready for the day to come. The sounds of feet on the stairs, a squeaky door hinge or a shutting door. Most days as I walk to the gate I’ll hear the distinctive thwack of foot on leather ball and more often than not the swish of a rippling net as Barnaby’s football finds the back of the net. More birds, more chatting voices, the odd squeal of brakes and the sound of cars rounds off this morning chorus with the distinctive metallic clang of the side gate. This week we have had the racket of lawn mowers and blowers and the clear indication that summer has started as pupils cheer excitedly for their teammates to score a rounder.
The summer term has its own distinctive sounds, of rounders being played on the front lawn. Anyone passing the Junior School green pitch will know that there are few more pleasant sounds than that of break time, a cacophony of sheer pleasure. A walk down a school corridor brings its own selection of sounds, of questions being answered, of discussions being had and work being done. Chip Thursday brings a sound of expectant and excited diners and any normal walk around the campus will have its fair share of good mornings and afternoons. Later in the term we will hear that weird sound of nearly silence when the public exams commence. Pens scratching on papers, discreet coughs – one can almost hear the sound of concentration as well as the invigilator’s careful pace. It is in silence that we find the finest focus, the most eloquence and the best ideas.
This week I am accompanying some other noise makers or, perhaps more accurately described, musicians as they make their way to perform in a Europe-wide music competition. More pleasant noise. They will compete and join with other young musicians to produce glorious sound. Perhaps I can encourage you to start the next mid-week bank holiday by coming to the Jazz Band’s concert on Tuesday night. Not only will you have the opportunity to hear our Jazz Band hitting the high notes but also a chance to meet with other parents and friends of the School for what promises to be a great night. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Chanorier complex in Croissy then it is another reason for coming along and enjoying a cocktail and a concert. We start at 7.30pm (drinks from 7.00pm). Please come and enjoy the show.
It takes many sounds to make a school. I look forward to a term in which our joy in learning is expressed through sounds of enthusiasm and the necessary moments of silence.