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From the Headmaster

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 28/02/20, by Rhian Little

    When my departure was announced last September, I said that the school would continue in the same way this academic year – full steam ahead – and I would be just as interested in detail and no less keen to support Pilgrims’ boys.  I must run hard before handing the baton to Dr Sarah Essex.  Therefore, please do not misunderstand the reflective tone of this article. 

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 14/02/20, by Rhian Little

    I would think that dinner times are interesting in the Perks’ house, given the broad range of topics included in last Friday’s PPA Quiz by question-setters Will and Fiona.  The range was too broad for me; I was on home territory a few times, but soon discovered that brain cells occupied by The Lord of the Rings, the life and times of Winston Churchill, and the Bible should have been much better deployed.  On Monday, a boy asked me if I had yet discovered who Adele is.  I grimaced.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 07/02/20, by Rhian Little

    As I left the first sitting of James Shone’s talk yesterday, a parent said: that talk will make writing your Pilgrims’ Way article easy.  Indeed!  James is a remarkable character: a highly respected teacher and leader, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he underwent a medical after being offered the role of Headmaster of Monkton Combe School in Bath – a position he was then unable to take.  Years of rehabilitation followed.  James quoted the great line that ‘in adversity we have a choice’.  One soon sees past his disabilities, such is his impressive personality; James is clever, witty, articulate, engaging – and a man with profound understanding of how human beings work.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 31/01/20, by Rhian Little

    From Boys to Men Part II

    If the question ‘what is a pink lady?’ appeared in the Set Quiz, I think the intended answer would be ‘an apple’ – though other correct answers (cocktail, Japanese pop duo, and so on) would be accepted by Mr Hammond, I am sure.  However, when I made reference to a pink lady in my sister’s birthday card this week, she immediately knew it was a reference to Grease.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 24/01/20, by Rhian Little

    From Boys to Men Part I

    In my back-catalogue of Pilgrims’ Way articles, the aim has always been to give an interesting take on the operation and thinking of the school.  My endeavour is to aid common purpose rather than be controversial.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 17/01/20, by Rhian Little

    To those of us born well inside the past century, ‘2020’ sounds positively sci-fi.  The 1965 film Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (not to be confused with the even-worse Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women) is set in 2020 and tells of moon colonists travelling to Venus to find it populated by dinosaurs.  It seems only yesterday we were dancing to Wham! and yet all of a sudden we are in this ultra-modern year and decade (if we ignore the inconvenient maths that the decade actually starts in 2021). 

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 14/01/20, by Rhian Little

    Blockbuster.  No, not Blockbusters, the game show hosted by Bob Holness (I cannot help but add, as everyone does, the second man to play James Bond), but the video rental shop.  Today’s boys are unlikely to experience the excitement of browsing rows of videos before negotiating an agreeable title with friends, for there is only one Blockbuster left in the world, in Oregon, USA.  This is the Netflix age.  And yet there was a time, in 2008, when Blockbuster turned down the chance to buy Netflix, then a DVD mailing service, for (in retrospect) a bargain $50 million. Netflix is now worth $150 billion. 

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 06/12/19, by Rhian Little

    Blazing your trail,
    Too high, too far, too soon,
    You saw the whole of the moon.
    Mike Scott (of the Waterboys)

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 29/11/19, by Rhian Little

    Do you know (as I do, thanks to Google) what a referee’s whistle, an egg beater, and a Zorb1 have in common?  What if I added the jet pack?  And the jet boat?  The disposable syringe?  If you’re stuck, I will mention the theory of how to split the atom.  The nerdiest readers – and I know who you are – are probably saying, though not with the same level of admiration, ‘and bungee jumping’.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 22/11/19, by Rhian Little

    Undoubtedly, the most difficult part of my job is engaging with others in a lively fashion during breakfast at 0730.  Mr Hammond is a lark.  I am not.

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 15/11/19, by Rhian Little

    In Dorm 3, one poster is of the two Chelsea goalkeepers, Arrizabalaga and Caballero.  Youngsters are still inspired by the style and grace of sporting heroes.  As a boy (and sometimes now!), I wanted to score cover drives with David Gower’s elegance and celebrate goals with the windmill action of Mick Channon.  The latter was achieved (on rare occasions).

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  • From the Headmaster

    Published 08/11/19, by Rhian Little

    I hope that current Pilgrims’ boys will, as I do, continue to meet with friends from their schooldays throughout their life.  Remembering shared experience ties people as closely, perhaps even closer, than blood. 

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