Skip to content ↓

Home

From the Headmaster

Page 1

  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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. 

    Read More
  • From the Headmaster's desk

    Published 06/06/20, by Angela Slater
    You may be aware that The Lord of the Rings is my favourite book and therefore not surprised that as a boy I played Dungeons and Dragons.  Given that I have already confessed that I enjoy the occasional Dallas episode, I
    Read More
  • From the Headmaster's desk

    Published 22/05/20, by Angela Slater
    I have seen several articles in the paper predicting, or hoping for, significant societal change as a legacy of the current crisis: there was such an essay in Thursday’s Times (page 22), in which Jenni Russell explained, in compelling detail, t
    Read More
  • From the Headmaster's Desk

    Published 15/05/20, by Angela Slater

    I remember watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with someone who, along with one-third of the population (including Indiana Jones), suffered from ophidiophobia. During the Well of Souls scene he writhed and wriggled more than the snakes, which were not CGI imitations but sourced by Spielberg mostly from pet shops near Elstree Studios.  I like snakes, more or less, but have the same need to hide behind my hands when watching Governor Rick Perry, in an excruciating moment in a 2011 US presidential debate, unable to name the third government agency he would abolish.  I cannot even bring myself to include a link.

    Read More
  • From the Headmaster

    Published 11/05/20, by Angela Slater
    As you know, I am leaving at the end of this term to train for ministry in the Church of England.  All being well, I will need to buy a clerical collar in July 2021.  Next year, my training ‘pathway’, to use the lingo, will lead
    Read More
  • From the Headmaster

    Published 29/04/20, by Angela Slater

    I write on Friday afternoon at pick-up time. A few boys are playing on the Quad outside. Earlier, I taught Year 8 about the rise and fall of institutions and ideas. At the moment, even deep within our bubbles, there is, from time to time, the appearance of normality.

    Read More
  • From the Headmaster

    Published 27/03/20, by Admin

    When was the last time you had a stone in your shoe?  It does not exactly hurt, but makes it impossible to enjoy a stroll.  Rage, in private, can have a cleansing effect; but irritation gnaws and nags.  I still remember a good friend (still thus), at his desk behind me, sniffing through our A-level History paper.  Some are irritated by the wrong type of Christmas card; others by music or expressions or words or eating styles.  And then there are people: some television personalities have a reputation for being irritating.  I cannot stand people clicking their knuckles.  I have written before that coughing without covering one’s mouth should be illegal – at the moment, of course, it is also dangerous and unethical.

    Read More
  • From the Headmaster

    Published 20/03/20, by Admin

    On Friday 3 January, I spent much of the day concluding final edits of this term’s printed Calendar; the same day, the BBC ran a story about cases of a ‘mysterious’ virus.  I never considered the possibility that this term would not conclude as normal.  All of a sudden, though, the expectations of everyday life have disappeared.  Naturally, there is worry and fear; we understand that harsh reality may affect us directly – or, perhaps, it already is.  Aside from viral danger, the world is in economic turmoil.  Some, in their anxiety, have responded poorly, by panic-buying, for example. 

    Read More
  • From the Headmaster

    Published 13/03/20, by Admin

    Donald Rumsfeld: “Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”

    Read More

Page 1

Our Location