Headmistress’s Blog

16 September 2022

Dear Parents and Friends,

Last week when I wrote to you, we were in a place of mourning. So many in our community and our school felt the loss of the Queen personally and were reminded of their own bereavements in their turn. A time when our community reached out to one another and came together to express and acknowledge the Queen’s contribution as well as put a metaphorical arm around each other’s shoulders.

This week, the rhythms of ceremonial ritual have been paramount; the slow steady progress across the country, the respect demonstrated by so many, the flowers which have decorated the gates of parks and palaces, tributes to the way one woman connected to people she hadn’t even met. I too have felt the extraordinary weight that we are seeing history, that for us, and for our children, events, this week, in particular are the lines in the (digital?) text books and footnotes in the scrawled essays of future pupils. How strange that the range of emotions we are feeling now will be wholly reduced to a photograph or even a sentence.

But, as happens, slowly, steadily, the rhythms of Oxford High School are returning. Last Friday laughter in corridors felt awkward and strange; this week students running (always slowing to a walk in front of me of course) and then walking quickly away are back. Parents attending presentations on Oxbridge and on being introduced Oxford High School are back. The beat of lessons, the shouts on the football pitches, the encouragement in hockey and the thud of a ball on the netball court are all back. Prefects leading assemblies on our club fair to the whole school; voices singing in the Music block as well as the sound of orchestra and bands  – all are back and after two years of stop and go – it’s great to hear them.

Queen Elizabeth said herself in her Christmas message in 2013 that ‘We all need to get the balance right between action and reflection. With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock.’ Last Friday and this coming Monday will be a time to do precisely that, a time and space not just to mourn the Queen but also to reflect on the extraordinary experiences that we have all lived through and shared, collectively, as a community over the last few years.

As ever, it may be that events this weekend are difficult for your family. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us should your daughter need our support and take great care; we have the next generation within our hands.

Ad Lucem,
Marina Gardiner Legge

Tags: Head's Blog

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