“The brain is wider than the sky.” – Emily Dickinson

Brains have been on the menu at the Senior School this week. Not in the canteen (there is no plan to serve tête de veau or other local dishes) but confusingly in the library, during assembly and even on the front lawn. This was all part of Mrs. Wehrli, our librarian’s unique way of promoting Children’s Book Week. It turns out that we have a small but significant collection of zombie related books in the library amongst myriad other subjects. I’m sure that some of our more reluctant visitors to the library will have been enticed to make a visit and pick up a book.

This week also marks the start of exam leave for our Year 11, GCSE pupils. They will be straining their brains both preparing and taking exams. We’ve also told our Year 11s to take care of their thinking equipment, after all their brains are not yet fully developed and the coming month will stretch their “thinking muscle”. This may well be an apposite moment to remind ourselves that to be kind to our minds we should ensure that we not only get enough sleep but that we have great quality kip. I know that advice like this never goes down particularly well but I’d encourage us all to lay off screens an hour before going to sleep, to make sure we are properly hydrated and to get in the fresh air for some exercise each day. Successful study and successful exam taking is about more than just sweating over flash cards.

Taking on a new mental challenge is also a very good way of ensuring that the aging brain is kept in trim. I’m delighted to invite parents our first ever Festival of Discovery. Whilst not quite a rival to Glastonbury, our festival will certainly provide some food for thought, possibly a new discovery and perhaps a lifelong enthusiasm. You can dissect an eye, appreciate poetry, and set fire to things… what’s not to like? Please come along, if nothing else you can enjoy an outstanding lunch of fish and chips followed by a top-class wine tasting. We value discovery as a school, and we would be delighted to provide you with an opportunity to take a glimpse into an almost normal school day. I hope to see you there.

Many and sincere thanks to all parents and friends of the school who have contributed to our Stuff for School appeal. The work of our community has been of profound help to support displaced students and their families. If you haven’t contributed and want to please don’t delay – we have a range of options and every little helps. Your donation allows us to provide continuity of education, there can’t be an appeal that is such a sound investment in the future.

For all who are going (or taking part in) tonight’s Jazz Concert, enjoy your evening and thank you in advance for supporting our good causes.

Have a great weekend.

Nicholas Hammond