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Mr Lewis’ Blog June 2014

Posted: 20th June 2014 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

The last couple of weeks have been frenetic!  The late May Half Term break saw the stalwart students of Year 8 nose down to the grindstone revising for those dratted Common Entrance exams. However, everyone’s hard graft paid off as every single boy and girl passed with consummate ease to the Public School of their choice.  Common Entrance is not easy and - showing my age – it equates to three fifths of the O Level courses I took (Foundation Stage GCSE to you).

I am very proud of the children, the staff and the supportive body of parents who have all hauled together to reach our mutual goals.  Added to the ten scholarships won this year…a top quality performance all round.

At the end of four days grind, it is necessary for the troops to recharge their batteries and let their hair down…a feat that has escaped me for some years being somewhat follicularly challenged! So we packed the buses and headed westwards to relax in resplendent Dorset: this was a full-on four day tour which the teachers (Daphne, Angela, David and I) truly enjoyed, as did the children.

We returned to school on Monday night and with a Heads’ Dinner at Hampton Court on Tuesday and all day training at HQ on Wednesday, I managed to touch base with family towards the end of the week.

A Careers’ Day, a stunning Sports Day and preparation for the Sussex and National Athletics, plus a fiesta of sport makes this time of year busy but fun-filled. However, all this has nothing to do with my blog!

Bob Geldof, whom I met at Harvey Goldsmith’s 40th birthday party many moons ago, did not like Mondays, as exemplified in his Boomtown Rats’ song. In my world, I don’t like Thursdays! Thursday is CRISIS DAY which somehow always begins once school has closed on Wednesday night.

This Wednesday night, the last child, teacher and cleaner had vacated the premises by 1845h and the sun was shining down and Fiona and I contemplated sitting out for a while.

“Let’s check the pool level” she said. “It’s probably topped up by now!”

With the Junior Swimming Gala the next day, I hurried over to switch the tap off. A glance at the pool and I realised it could do with a bit of a backwash. Next stop the pool house and into the backwash routine: turn a couple of handles, move the lever and hey presto..…the pressure gauge exploded and water spouted everywhere! Oh dear - shut everything down and wait for the pool shop to open on Thursday morning.

Early evening in the sunshine was replaced by a light Mediterranean cod and pimento supper and an early night: a good night’s rest required prior to the commencement of Crisis Day!

Lights out around 1100h and off into the Land of Nod. The school fire alarms sounded at exactly 0020h. What a start to Thursday morning! Dressing gown on and through the various closed fire doors to the Alarm Board: Zone 8 which covers the first floor Years 6-8 classrooms. None of the sensors glowed red and I wondered briefly whether the school ghost, Lady Braithwaite, was up to mischief again (she has a penchant for computers and is definitely IT literate).

Back to the Alarm Board, reset knowing I would have to investigate in the morning. Back to bed.

0215h: the alarms drag me out of a deep sleep! Fiona pursued me through the various closed fire doors to the board and sure enough… Zone 8 again! We followed the same routine but no red lights showed. We left the system disarmed for the rest of the night trusting that Dame Fortune would smile benevolently upon us.

With the help of Mr Pollard, we dismantled the pressure gauge first thing in the morning and I collected a replacement from Sussex Pools which David installed. Then the pool had to be hovered and the chemicals checked.

Crisis sorted!

Meanwhile, Thursday was working her wicked wiles as one of our teachers took the wrong minibus on a trip which meant that we had to organise extra transport for the LTA Eastbourne trip for Year 8.

Crisis sorted!

Gary, our caretaker, had been sent off to investigate the fire alarm problem. The only place we had not checked was the roof space above the staff bathroom in Zone 8.  Gary manfully clambered up his step ladder but could not reach, so off to the workshop for a set of ladders.

A quick examination of the area and sure enough: one huge web and one tiny harvester spider. Out with our trusty Henry…

Crisis sorted!

I sit down and write this blog and it is approaching midday.

A knock on the door.

I glance at my watch: 1230h – not long till lunch.

“Come in!” I cry happily.

“There’s a killer hornet in the ICT room and we can’t find Gary so you will have to deal with it!”

Another crisis!

I waltz down the corridor with a song pulsating in my head: “I don’t like Thursdays!”

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