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Headteacher’s Blog

During the last week there were four events to which I was fortunate enough to be invited: the match
between the MCC and the School first team at Minster Lovell Cricket Club; lunch with former staff at the
school boarding house by the historic church; the year 13 leavers’ dinner; and the Key Stage 3 play. Each
of these events was brilliantly organised, well attended, and truly joyful. Though quite different as
events they had one important thing in common – the bringing together of the Burford School
community.

Community has a different meaning to different people. The most valuable definition for the purpose of
this blog relates to “the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common”. At
the Cricket match on Thursday, without doubt, the first team competed to win; critically our players also
worked with an opposition who had given up their own time to celebrate in the joy of sport for its own
sake. The so-called Corinthian spirit shone through. There is no doubt that when engaging in any
sporting pursuit you should reach to give your best and focus on individual performance. The Burford
way, however, embraces the essential value of participation with and respect for others. The form of
competition that erodes meaningful engagement with others is corrosive and detrimental to mental
health. Burford School understands that. We are grateful to the MCC and Minster Lovell Cricket club for
their generosity in putting the match on.

The warmth former staff have for the school was evident at lunch last Friday. Hearing stories of the
school “from the last century” brought home how teachers are driven by a set of values to work with
young people and see them develop. The sense of sharing in the nurture of each student to reach for
their best was tangible. It is humbling to think that the overlapping generations of staff hark back
continuously for 450 years. That really is something and emphasises the way a common set of beliefs
can also be paid forward to future generations. Those connections across the ages will no doubt mean
that similar stories will be heard far ahead in similar events as that last Friday, ensuring that the
Boarding House will remain the spiritual home of the school. We are grateful to Stuart and Jane
Norridge, as well as the boarding house team, for bringing together a wonderful lunch.

At the leavers’ dinner on Friday evening, Mrs Brown led the celebrations for the Year 13 students.
Nothing could have been more appropriate for a group of young people who have experienced an
education over the last two years unlike that of any previous generation of Burfordians. After a fine
meal catered by the Cotswold Hotel and Spa, the Heads of School (Will Miller, Clemence James and
Declan O’Brien – led celebratory speeches and introduced the emotional videos showing the memories
of the last seven years. Again, the sense of community was evident throughout. Gracie Lavers, another
member of the leadership team was already on a plane to work as a Counsellor at Camp America so
sadly missed out on the dinner.

Finally, On Tuesday, I was left speechless by the outstanding performances in “Once Upon a Time” of a
cast and crew of over 80 students from year 7 to 9. Written and directed by the brilliant Mr Brookes, the
audience was taken on a roller coaster of emotions in this modern retelling of Grimms’ tales. With a
sensitive nod to recent events, as we moved into the play the gathered crowd were treated to clever
jokes, fantastic acting and emotive dancing. Howls of laughter were blended with real skill around
touching moments of bathos. And, as the cast reminded us, the use of “conceit as a literary device” to
bring out particular meaning allowed all to reflect on those things that really matter. I am grateful to
members of the PTA and staff body for their practical and spiritual support of the play.

Such events as those listed here remind us of the need for community to provide an education. Though I
have named a few individuals in here, it is the countless members of our close and wider networks that
make the magic happen. This magic provides opportunities to grow. United by shared values, each and
every member of the Burford School community enables each other to flourish.

 

 

Headteacher’s Blog – 22 October 2021 – Issue 1

Headteacher’s Blog – 16 November 2021 – Issue 2

Headteacher’s Blog – 30 November 2021 Issue 3

Headteacher’s Blog December 14 – Issue 4

Headteacher’s Blog – 18 January 2022 – Issue 5

Headteacher’s Blog – 1 February 2022 – Issue 6

Headteacher’s blog – 15 February 2022 – Issue 7

Headteacher’s Blog – 8 March 2022 – Issue 8

Headteachers Blog – 22 March 2022 Issue 9

Headteacher’s Blog – 5 April 2022 – Issue 10

Headteachers Blog – 10 May – Issue 11

Headteachers Blog – 24 May – Issue 12

Headteacher’s Blog – 16 May – Issue 13

Headteacher’s Blog – 30 June – Issue 14

 

 

 

 

 

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