Wednesday, 28 November 2018
In the febrile political climate which is gripping the UK, Highgate’s Music Department is exploring ‘Rebels, Romantics and Revolutionaries’ of the musical world in its Michaelmas concert this week (Thursday 29/11, 7pm, Junior School Hall), and catching early sight of the programme, I wondered what our aspirant instrumentalists made of their musical preoccupations: after all, to attend rehearsals, they forego the pleasures of a Dining Hall lunch and hang on after school has long since ended for everyone else. So I made my way to the Tuck Shop to put some questions and, having swallowed a very toothsome macaroni cheese, interrogated my unsuspecting blog victims.
Wednesday, 14 November 2018
You may have spotted the haunting silhouettes of infantrymen around our Senior School: as part of the nation’s commemoration of the signing of the Armistice in November 1918, the Royal British Legion has encouraged businesses, local authorities and individuals to display silhouettes as a reminder of the sacrifices made during the First World War. Thanks to a generous donation from the Friends of Highgate School (a charity set up in 1947 to provide support for bereaved families, to assist families in hardship and to support education more widely at Highgate School), we were able to buy several of these poignant silhouette statues as part of our acts of remembrance.
Friday, 12 October 2018
I’ve just written to parents in our Senior School to thank them for responding to a recent survey which we asked them to complete last term: I can imagine the sinking hearts of a thousand families when they received the survey request – everyone seems to be after our views as soon as you’ve booked a holiday or eaten a meal! I tried to ensure that the ‘you said, we did’ energy came across: we found ourselves galvanised into doing some things which made so much sense once we heard families thoughtfully telling us how things work for them. Just as we abandoned homework for the first fortnight of Year 7 a few years back thanks to a survey of new-joiners, so it made sense to cut back on homework in years 7 and 8 by an hour or more to rein in the youthful enthusiasm to impress and please teacher and peer alike. We hope it’s working!
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Here at Highgate, we just held a quiet celebration for the veterans in Year 11 who’d pulled so much out of the GCSE bag. This was really aimed at ensuring that bashfulness didn’t prevent the young from enjoying just a little parental adulation, with a few words to hammer home the admiration for all that had been achieved. Major embarrassment among the young at being in the spotlight, of course, and at mum or dad looking tearfully proud. But important licence for parents to articulate that pride and love in the face of self-evident adolescent insouciance!
Friday, 07 September 2018
I’m penning this before I dash home to find out how day one passed off for Pettitt No 3 of the new generation, and I imagine I join the other parents and carers of ‘new joiners’ in Nursery, Years 3, 5 and 7 in having passed a day hoping that all went well. Of course, my wife and I (to those new to these Highgate Chronicles, Madame Pettitt teaches French in our Senior School) get to bump into our children during the day, much to their embarrassment, but you never quite know what’s going on inside their heads and hearts. Still, I hope that all have been happily reunited and are feeling cheerful on having survived the plunge into these unfamiliar waters!
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