The inevitability of last week's announcement from Downing Street meant that the consequences in school were greeted almost with a metaphorical shrug of the shoulders by those affected. In truth most of what goes on at Bishop's is unaffected, as the delay to the full removal of Covid-related restrictions has no impact on our daily routine; it is 'as you were' for the reminder of the summer term. The special events at this time of year are affected quite seriously though, as information sessions for 11+ applicants and taster days for Year 12 must move online, tours can only be in small groups and the House Suppers for the incoming Year 7 boys and their parents have had to be delayed to the start of the September Term. The news that there are now cases of the 'delta variant' in two local private schools highlights the renewed need for caution and the avoidance of any complacency. Until the vaccination programme has taken a fuller course the danger of infection remains ever present.
Having said that there are some advantages to the changes that we have been forced to make. Webinars for the 11+ makes all sorts of sense as there are healthy audiences at the time and then everyone can access the recorded events and associated information at their leisure afterwards. The same messages, the same degree of clarity for all and no more crowding into an overheated dining hall with noisy fridges! Tours booked and bespoke, expertly accompanied by our fantastic sixth form students around a school that is in session. House Suppers tied in at the very start of the new term, together with a Chapel Service to get our youngest boys used to the routines of the new school year. That sounds like an improvement to me, so perhaps necessity may be the mother of invention once again.
Meanwhile life goes on. The @BWSMusic Trip to Cornwall looks to have gone very well. The Choir members and Mr Edney were blessed with fabulous Cornish sunshine and an absence of G7 members, the sea looks dazzling in the pictures on Twitter. Surely there cannot be anywhere more spectacular to perform than the Minack, above an azure bay, golden sand and granite cliffs? It is of such stuff that life-long memories are made. I also took the opportunity (before the weather broke) of doing the rounds on a Sixth Form Games Afternoon last Wednesday.
Again the twitter pictures show it all; boys and girls having a lot of fun, but also taking their sport and competition seriously so that fitness levels and skills development were very evident. It was good to see the BWS PE Department getting so much out of our students with high quality coaching and good humour, and I came away from my sporting observations suitably impressed that we are delivering what we should, whatever the restrictions of the current regime might be.