The boys (and girls) are back in town....*

By the third day of last week they had all returned, streaming in through the gates and filling in where there had been an uncomfortable vacuum. Noise and bustle returned in force, with the difference being most felt at break and lunch times as Bishop's boys and girls milled around and flowed from room to room. The sounds of chatter, laughter and excitement echoed around the playgrounds and classrooms once more, and the sounding of the bells regained meaning. The sense of energy regained was palpable, and it was lovely to see young people simply enjoying being together once more in an environment that had become sadly unfamiliar. It is absolutely obvious that our boys and girls were keen to be back and they have settled very quickly back into their niches. Let's hope that the change is as irreversible as the politicians intend.

The same is true of the staff, some of whom had not been to The Close for weeks. Personal contact through screen interaction is all well and good, but there's nothing quite like a chance encounter and breezy conversation in the car park to lift the spirits at the end (or even the start!) of a ten-period day. In just the same way I have spent a significant proportion of the past week when not been overseeing the gazillion tests in the Sports hall, touring the site, seeing people and talking. It's just great to be able to do that sort of thing once more - to do a health check of Bishop's by doing the bounds. I really have missed that aspect of my day-to-day existence, and I'm so glad it's back.

COVID Testing

Meanwhile the tide of students ebbs and flows through the Sports Hall as the testing continues. The initial part of the programme was a pain - holding every boy and girl for 30 minutes to get the result of their initial test was a chore for everyone, but now we have progressed to faster processing there is far more impetus to the whole project. There is only a week to go until testing in school becomes a part of recent history and we can reinstate Cricket, Lacrosse, Massed Yoga, Rugby, Badminton, Table Tennis, Gymnastics and the rest. Clearing the Hall of tarpaulins, chairs, tables, and PPE will be yet another sign that we are getting back to our main tasks here - learning, having fun and enjoying life.


*with profuse apologies to the late Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy for the title....