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18th February 2011

Posted: 18th February 2011 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

It is impossible to switch off the internal clock so I could not resist the temptation to turn on Radio 4 in time to listen to the sports report at just before six thirty.


I could hear my daughter, Rowan, rummaging around downstairs, probably running through her Great Gatsby essay again! Why do children always leave things to the last minute?


Then it dawned on me that we had no school today – Rowan, however, had to catch the early bus which afforded me the chance of a bit of paternal teasing! The opportunity presented itself at breakfast.


“Do some of us have school today?” I asked innocently.


“Is that the Royal ‘we’, Daddy?” Rowan replied smartly.


“Oh no you don’t!” interrupted Fiona. “I have arranged for you to help Peter, Kim and my very good self to clear some of the storage areas so WE are all at school today!”


No peace for the wicked, I thought to myself. Never mind: start early and get those storage areas clear so that we can begin the leviathan task of emptying the dormitories in time for the builders to start work.


I am so excited about the plans for refurbishing the dorms! Those Year 7 and 8 students will have such fabulous rooms to work in and I, for one, am relishing the prospect of teaching them in such well-appointed accommodation.


Peter Jepson, our stalwart caretaker, gave me one of his hadn’t-we-better-get-started looks and we set to with a will.


One massive bonfire, a skip and six wheelie bins later and we had made a glorious effort – at least we could now begin the next task: emptying the dorms! Maybe in March…..


After cleaning up, I had enough time to go through the morning post and read a letter that made me smile!


On our Open Morning in January we were visited by Stephen Willis and his companion, Lesley Proudfoot. Stephen had been a teacher at Skippers in the early 1970’s and was our Science teacher.


Stephen was shown around the school by Rachel Shepherd – one of our excellent band of Prefects.

 


I quote from his letter:


“Rachel did a wonderful job showing us around. In every classroom we were welcomed by each member of Staff and by all the children. I particularly enjoyed meeting my successor, Mrs Alsop, visiting the science laboratory and seeing myself on one of the photographs which was hanging on a wall in what used to be the dormitory areas. I understand that the dormitory rooms will soon be converted into other school rooms.


Skippers Hill is a delightful school and the fact that most of the staff have stayed at the school for many years speaks volumes. I am very fond of the school because it is where I began my teaching career!”


We packed the car at two thirty and headed westwards on our way to visit Alex, our eldest, who is studying at Bournemouth.


Our Half Term had begun … with an hour’s traffic jam in wonderful Worthing!


Roll on the second half of term!

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