A version of this article appeared in the Summer edition of Prep School Magazine, originally written by the Headmaster of Durham School. All book choices are my own but our views are the same.
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It is now only a matter of four weeks until another school year comes to an end. As I write this, the children in the Prep Forms are mid-way through their end-of-year exams, breathing a sigh of relief as each one is finished. Prep 6 are in the process of visiting their new senior schools: finding out about new routines, new form teachers, new houses and what will happen in September. There is a palpable air of excitement and nervousness at the same time.
IT'S OFFICIAL - WE'RE EXCELLENT!
Another half term has passed in the usual busy and productive fashion of Edenhurst, with many events and achievements to celebrate. Of course, the biggest news this month has been the receipt of the full ISI Inspection report.
Edenhurst was visited in the last week of last term, as part of the current cycle of inspections, combining a ‘Compliance’ check, an EYFS inspection (Nursery) and an Educational Quality inspection (School).
Children from Prep 4, 5 and 6 recently spent an amazing week at the Chateau de la Baudonniere in Normandy, about two hours' drive from Caen. We were the only group there to have children younger than Prep 6 and the other schools were astounded at how well our Prep 4 and 5 children dealt with being away from home - they were amazing!
As our last full day here is well underway, Mr. Barber, Madame Cotton and I have been reflecting on the benefits of experiences such as this. Throughout the week we have seen so much growth in our pupils, yet all of it unique to each of them.
A residential trip is a great leveller - the academic; the musician; the artist; the quiet and reflective child; the sportsman; the child that seemingly oozes with confidence; the homebird…all different character types are suddenly brought together and given the chance to rise to new challenges.
Despite the forecast for rain today, we have (at time of writing) seen nothing resembling precipitation and all activities have gone ahead as planned. Our lovely breakfast was ravenously devoured and then it was time for French/aéroballe or bread making.
The children woke today to sunshine streaming through the windows…today would not only be another beautiful day, it would also be the warmest day of the week for us.
Greetings from a lovely and sunny Normandy! Yesterday was, of course, VE Day and it is highly appropriate that we should be spending part of today on the D-Day landing beaches at Arromanches, where British, Canadian and U.S. forces came to help liberate La République from the Nazis. On 9th May, Russia celebrates Victory Day, as the news of the Nazi surrender didn’t reach Moscow until 24 hours later, so there is still a historic significance to the day of our visit.
As I was packing to come away here, I found my little notebook from the last trip: a little A7 scribbler where I kept an ongoing log of what was happening to help me remember the little points when writing up the daily blog. It made interesting reading and I wonder how it will differ with this year’s entries when I come to write up each day.
As I begin the first blog entry of the trip, we’ve just left Portsmouth and are on our way to Caen-Ouistreholme. A huge thank-you to all of the parents who arrived promptly and enabled us to get an early start to our journey. Armed with food, toys, cards and games, as well as a few spinners - at least one between two, if not more! Our coach driver was well-prepared and endeared himself to the children by putting some of the favourite films on, including ‘Minions’.