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4th May 2012

Posted: 8th May 2012 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

Much has happened since my March Blog!

The scheduled building works were completed in 3 weeks and 2 days and what a welcome transformation!  I have received so many positive comments about the light corridors, high ceilings and new classrooms!

Kindergarten is now fully operational under the watchful eye of the splendid Molly Mills and we are rapidly becoming accustomed to the sound of tiny pattering feet! Louise Hemsley and Reception are ensconced in their new neighbouring classroom;  Marianna Bakewell is delighted with her newly decorated room across the corridor and so are her Y1 children;  Emer Murphy and Year 2 have the biggest room imaginable and are enjoying their working space – and, yes, I promise to increase your cloakroom area!

Year 3 to Year 5 now have their interactive boards, internet and computers and Mrs Stewart, in particular, is revelling in experimenting with her new educational resources.

Mary Pearson, Carolyn Holleyman and all the peripatetic teachers are very impressed with the Performing Arts facility.  This will definitely help to maintain the importance that we attach to Music, Dance and Drama at Skippers.

The rain has severely disrupted our Sports Programme and fingers are crossed that the weather will become more clement next week – thank goodness for the Swimming Pool and Gymnasium!

One of the highlights of this month is the Mayfield May Fair.  As the only really local prep school, we have supported this fine festival from the outset five years ago.  We believe it is very important to play an active role in community projects…hence our choirs sing for local Rest Homes; our children raise money for local charities; our Harvest Festival is open to visitors from the village and food baskets are distributed to senior residents to name but a few things we do locally.

On Saturday 12th May, pupils from Skippers will be assembling just before 11 a.m. just outside The Flower House in Mayfield at the bottom of the High Street.  We shall join a procession led by the Green Giant and the merry troupe will wend its way to Court Meadow to the rousing sound of the Mayfield Silver Band.  This is where the fair is taking place this year.

At Court Meadow we shall all watch the crowning of the May Queen.  Thereafter, our children open proceedings with three Maypole Dances.  After this, one of our performers will ask the May Queen to dance and there is a short twirl around the Maypole and the actual fair begins.

My first duty will be to organise ice creams for our dancers and then they will be free to enjoy the fair and even take part in the various sporting activities (Olympics-style!) that are on offer.
I have been told there is a hog roast, an outside bar and Pimms bar, about 20 trade stands – including our own manned by Fiona who would love it if you stopped by for a chat – and much more besides.  It would be great to see as many friends and supporters there on Saturday egging on our wonderful children.

So what am I going to do with the rest of my Saturday?  Probably resume painting Rowan’s bedroom.  But this time I shall aim to daub more paint on the wall than on me!

Which reminds me of a dreadful joke related to me by a clerical Roman Catholic friend of mine some years ago:

His church had fallen into a state of disrepair.  The paint was flaking and the once beautiful edifice was a shadow of its former self.  The Church Committee put an advert in the local paper requesting local firms to tender for the work.  Almost all of the painters in the area were within a few pounds of each other’s quotes, with the exception of one well-known, well-established, local company which had been in business for years and had an excellent reputation in the community.  This particular painter’s bid was about half of the competing bids.  The committee obviously selected the lowest quote.

On the morning the job began, the painter soon realised that he had grossly underestimated the scale of the project and realised he had underbid by about 50%.  Not wishing to lose the job, he decided to thin the paint out with water so he would be able to complete the job for the price quoted.

One week later, the painter received a call from my friend, the priest, explaining that after the first rain, half of the paint had washed off the church.

The painter returned, looked at the building, and sure enough, the job was ruined.  He went inside to pray about the situation, knowing that his business reputation was on the line.

“What can I possibly do, Lord?” prayed the discouraged businessman with his hands reverently clasped together.

Suddenly, God in a loud voice from the altar replied, “Repaint, and thin no more!”

Heartfelt apologies and hope to see you on Saturday!

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