There has been a positive outpouring of festive spirit at the Senior School over the past fortnight. It all kicked off on Friday 6th December with a Christmas Jumper Day that saw the school explode in a riot of colour and excitement. At the same time, members of our wonderful Support Team, ably marshalled by Dr Secker, were busy installing Christmas trees all over the school. Ramona from our support staff took over the decorating of the central courtyard, first adorning Deirdre with her own Christmas lights and hat, and then festooning the tree beside Dr Stringer’s office with pretty lights and baubles.
Elsewhere in the school, there were other sorts of Christmas trees in abundance. The Year 13 Chemists, as part of their topic on Transition Metals, are learning how these particular elements often have highly coloured compounds and interesting chemistry. To help introduce them to the variety of possible colours they have designed and made up the solutions required to construct the OHS “Chemis-tree” as part of our preparations for the end of term. Down in the Crush Hall, students from all year groups were adding messages of support, quotations and pictures of their favourite LGBQT heroes to our wonderful ‘LGBQTree’.
The last week has seen lessons continue right up until the final Thursday of the term, when we kicked off the traditional Saturnal of form decorating, Christmas panto and teacher quiz. Before that, however, the girls managed to a cornucopia of Christmas-themed activities around their lessons. First there was 11G’s Charity Debate between Mrs Rhodes and Dr Weeks, on the motion of ‘This house would abolish Christmas presents.’ The motion was eventually passed, following an amazing speech by Ms Rhodes, which merged cast-iron arguments on sustainability and globalisation with humorous anecdotes and a witty format.
Next there was 11O’s Charity Bake-Off, clearly a favourite judging by the voluble appreciation expressed by Messrs Lonsdale and South, acting as our very own Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. The bake-off was also clearly a crowd favourite, so we hope this might become a permanent fixture in our Christmas celebrations.
Finally, the Music Department – who have had an absolute rollercoaster of a term and must be feeling exhausted – put on a positively fantastic Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at nearby St Andrew’s Church.
Thursday dawned grey and, for many, apprehensive about the forthcoming polling day. And yet Christmas spirit continued to pour forth unfetterered as we enjoyed a wonderful day of form decorating, a sumptuous Christmas lunch and the beautifully melodic assault that is House Choir followed by the traditional Multilingual Carols, with classic carols sung in German, French, Russian, Mandarin, English and Latin.
Congratulations to the 10G on winning the form decorating award with their stupendous moon-landing diorama (inspired by the theme ‘Decades’) and congratulations, also, to 8G on receiving a special award for their ski resort design, which they created as part of the ‘Christmas Around The World Theme’ (we also enjoyed so many others, for the thrills, laughter and sense of wonder they induced!). Some highlights of Form Decorating can be seen below.
Having now survived the Staff Quiz and Panto, the school is preparing to wind down for the end of term. Everyone is tired, but happy and full of thoughts of kindness and giving to others that will endure into these holidays and beyond.