My hope is that most boys are managing their workload well within the time available. No-one should be feeling stressed about whether they can manage their academic diet comfortably, and there should be some flexibility with the use of time through this protracted period where we are all mostly at home. The additional time at home, with family, is a unique opportunity to spend time with those whom you love. I know that very well – there was no way that I was anticipating having such a period shared with three grown up ‘kidults’ at this time in my life, and I am really enjoying and valuing the chance to be with them. Yes, the food bills are astronomical and no, they are not entirely receptive to the strict regime of household chores devised by their father but it is such an unexpected blessing to see more of people that you love, even if the circumstances are grim.
So the lockdown does present opportunity, and you may have noticed (hopefully?) that there is a deliberate effort on the school’s part to encourage our boys to engage with material which they would otherwise not have done. There is a place on twitter for home videos and material that can be by turn either kitsch or liberatingly amusing, but equally there is the chance for real engagement and learning too. So, if you follow the @BWordsworths twitter account you will have seen (over the past couple of weeks) links to Cambridge Uni (including the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Botanic Gardens, the Sedgwick and Polar Museums, Kettle’s Yard and the Millennium Maths Project), the history of VE Day, Poems of the Week, DofE, Yoga classes, a Tim Peake interview, Oxford Uni’s ‘Curious Minds’ site (including the Viking Ship Museum, podcasts on medieval epidemics and also relativity, astronomy, The Tate Museum, Egyptology and broadcasts from Stockholm’s Konserthuset). All of this is in addition to inspiring examples of remote working from BWS boys, quizzes and the like. All of this is no mere accident, but more a deliberate strategy to create something good from the current period where physical restrictions are in place; limitations on physical movement are not restraints on the mobility of the mind, and the interconnectedness of our knowledge society means that we can travel much farther and faster than was ever possible before.
Finally, in my exhortation to explore, can I recommend a personal posting of mine on the @BWSGeology twitter account on 8 May? I retweeted David Attenborough being interviewed by Prof Brian Cox to celebrate DA’s 94th birthday. In the short filmed piece Sir David talks about Darwin and his work as an inspiration, and examines some of the original manuscripts relating to the second voyage of HMS Beagle 1831-1836. Wonderful stuff from inspiring scientists all.