Welcoming back our Fourth Form and Lower Sixth Formers

Well, the next stage of normality begins this week with the welcome addition of some Lower Sixth and Fourth Formers to the community. I’m looking forward more than I can say to teaching a couple of groups - and how good that, thanks to the ingenuity of Mr Tredger, Ms Coffin, and the team of Heads of Year and department leaders who have worked tirelessly on the return plans, we are teaching the boys, as well as tutoring and bringing them together for activity. It’s core business first!

Strange to be preparing speeches for end of year events, though: our Celebration of Whitgift Life will be streamed on YouTube (another expression we’re all getting used to) as will Graduation, the moment when outgoing Zain Peerbhoy and his team hand over to incoming Gus Bradford and his. Another rite of passage.

And it’s striking, and heartening, how powerful these are, these seasonal rites of passage. I was on a Zoom call (as has become the norm) with parents from one of our regular primary school ‘feeders’ (do others hate the expression ‘feeder school’ too?). They were asking about entrance tests, the pre-11+ year, the usual questions about the future. I found myself saying that when lockdown started, I looked again at our vision. Actually I didn’t straight away, let’s be honest, but have done since. The main thrusts were: help boys be more independent; think and learn more globally (think IB for example) and serve others in our community. I think that’s all held up pretty well. In fact, I think we could be on the cusp of something really amazing!