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  • From the Head

    Published 27/11/20, by Angela Slater

    To be a Pilgrim … is to explore,

    Episode 9

    While the boys and staff have continued to show resilience (without a doubt), on Wednesday night this week a number of boys’ thoughts turned to something different: the night sky. It was a clear night with a bright moon and a few very, very bright stars, or so we thought. For many weeks we have had cloud but not this Wednesday. Clouds are not the astronomer’s friend, well unless you are a radio astronomer (we have kit but not that kind of kit - we don’t have a radio telescope!). Mr Hammond set up a telescope on the quad. “That’s Jupiter”, said one boy. “We saw Saturn’s rings last time”, replied another. Soon I was staring through the telescope at an incredible view of craters and the rugged texture of the moon. Wow, I haven’t done that for a few years (aka decades). Amazing! Our thoughts moved on to the moon landing on July 20, 1969. As you know, at 16:17 EDT Apollo 11 was the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon with its crew: Neil Armstrong (commander), Buzz Aldrin (lunar module pilot) and Michael Collins (command module pilot). I was a small child on holiday in the Lake District apparently staring up at the sky that night too. 

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  • From the Head

    Published 20/11/20, by Angela Slater

    Resilience is a quality we really value at Pilgrims’ and over the last seven days the whole school community has come together and shown it in abundance for which I am, in equal measure, immensely proud and immensely grateful.

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  • From the Head

    Published 06/11/20, by Angela Slater

    To be a Pilgrim …   is to be determined, Episode 6 

    As I know you are more than aware, yesterday England went into a second lockdown for four weeks. We at Pilgrims’ are very determined not to let this impact the might of our school. In the last two months, I have learnt that Pilgrims are very determined - both boys and adults. We have all enjoyed being back in school this term and the learning and progress taking place is so obvious to me as I go around the school on “learning walks” (dropping into lessons). The boys’ assessment cards at half term speak to all the progress made, and it is also evident in my conversations with them. The giggles of delight I hear every day on the Quad, Grid or Yard speak volumes of time well spent and friendships in action.

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  • From the Head

    Published 16/10/20, by Angela Slater

    To be a Pilgrim … is to be a good friend, Episode 5

    On Monday, in my Head’s assembly we talked about friendship. I hope that all boys in the School can be a friend to others in that they look out for and treat them as they would like to be treated themselves. Of course, having a best friend who you spend a lot of time with inside and out of school is different. Being a friend includes accepting others for who they are in good times or bad. Friends are honest - honest enough to tell you when you are not being a good friend yourself, and they are trustworthy. A friend encourages you to own up to your mistakes. Friends often have to be brave – brave enough to stand up for the other if someone else is unkind or hurting their feelings. And a friend may share something – a feeling or a problem – in order to help others understand. We will discuss more about friendship over the coming weeks. Well done to Rupert Bowyer (4M) and James Whiteley (8C) who won Head’s Show Ups this week for being very good friends!

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  • From the Head

    Published 09/10/20, by Angela Slater

    To be a Pilgrim ... is to celebrate Harvest together, Episode 4 

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  • From the Head

    Published 02/10/20, by Angela Slater

    To be a Pilgrim ... is to put your hand up and pledge to put an end to bullying, Episode 3

    In the six weeks I have lived full-time in Winchester there has been never a dull moment. I have experienced a portfolio of weather and other physical challenges: heat waves, torrential rain, flash floods, and, last Monday, a full-scale power cut (I know that is not weather but the feeling was similar!). And now, Storm Alex is threatening.

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  • From the Head

    Published 25/09/20, by Angela Slater

    To be a Pilgrim ... is Remembering Henry James, Episode 2

    Today, our School assembly this morning was called: To be a Pilgrim … is to remember together. We wanted to remember Henry James and to reflect as a school. We were together in our remembering, if you will, and took comfort in our togetherness.

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  • From the Head

    Published 18/09/20, by Angela Slater

    To be a Pilgrim ... Magic, Episode 1     

    "And suddenly you just know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings." Meister Eckhart, 14th Century German theologian, philosopher and mystic.

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  • From the Headmaster's desk

    Published 04/07/20, by Angela Slater

    For nearly six years, my Friday afternoon has included writing a Pilgrims’ Way article – but, given that next week we will reproduce my Prize-Giving speech, this is the final in the series. In extremis, I have written the c.400 words in alcoves in the Cathedral and on trains, a plane, and in a motorway service station. Given that they appear at the top of a newsletter, my aim has not been to recite the happenings of the week, but to give a Pilgrims’-relevant message that, ideally, permits reference to specific school events.

    Thank you to Karen Pacey for her proof-reading – that is, mainly, the removal of lines and paragraphs (and sometimes whole articles) that would have unnecessarily divided opinion. Editors Rhian Little and, currently, Angela Slater have been wonderfully tolerant of habitual last-minute delivery and my own final sweep of the Pilgrims’ Way and a zealous imposition of the ‘z’ spelling (no, it is not an Americanism!), Oxford commas, [there’s one for you] and imperial measurements (though even I balked at writing five furlongs after every mention of the recent ‘1km Challenge’).  On occasion, Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage has settled disputes.

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  • From the Headmaster's desk

    Published 27/06/20, by Angela Slater

    Most individuals are surprisingly predictable.  Consider your own shopping basket, route to work, Netflix choice, or holiday destination.  The weather, stock market, cats, and Southampton FC’s form are unpredictable, but people, I would argue, are usually not.  Of course, the predictability of someone’s moral choices can work out for good or ill, but iron out the occasional mistake or erratic choice, and one finds, with the best people, that golden quality – reliability – and (consequently) the building of trust.  If someone is made of the right stuff, they will deliver.

    Dr Sarah Essex, whom I introduced to the Common Room on Wednesday, has, in abundance, the ability, experience, and character that will make her an exceptional leader of Pilgrims’.   A good tree will bring forth good fruit (Matthew 7:17)!  Just as I was succeeded in London by the right person at the right time, and Pascal Evans has gone on to be wonderfully successful, so the same is happening here.

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  • From the Headmaster's desk

    Published 20/06/20, by Angela Slater

    About this time of year, I usually write about our Year 8 Leavers.  Of course, this summer I have only seen them on a screen – until this afternoon, when four completed their Leavers’ Project Clarendon Way charity walk near the front door.  The majority had a how to day: the skills learnt were, in order through the day, (i) gut a fish, (ii) be an inventor, (iii) change a wheel on a car, (iv) sell a product, (v) play poker, and, (vi) cook.  They also enjoyed a lecture by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.  Since their exams, the boys have participated in a range of virtual activities and games (thank you, Sharky and George), as well as worked on their projects.  There is still plenty to come: on two days next week, they will produce a film, with everyone, those in school and those who live too far away to come in, having a part.

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  • From the Headmaster's desk

    Published 13/06/20, by Angela Slater

    A thought
    ‘Why is there so much useless redstone when you’re looking for diamonds?’  I had not considered this question until late on Friday morning, when I heard it asked by a Year 8 boy.  I had similarly little to offer when a different Leaver, on Tuesday, commented on the ‘portals’ in ‘Sector 8’.  Well-informed parents, down-with-the-kids parents, and younger parents may know that the first refers to Minecraft and the second to Asphalt 8. 

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