In response to the global coronavirus outbreak, St Peter’s School, York has implemented a strict visitor policy to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the whole school community. Following instructions from the government, the school site will be closed to pupils (apart from children of key workers) from the end of the day on Friday 20 March with no indication given of when that situation will change. We ask that all non-essential visitors also stay away from the school at this time. If your visit is essential, please read our visitor policy before you visit the school.

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St Peter's School

14 May 2020

Following, the Government's announcement on the potential for the staged re-opening of schools I thought it would be helpful to share some updates with you although initially the government are looking only at the return of younger pupils.  For some time now, we have been working on all that will be required for a safe and successful return to school whenever that is due to occur.  There is clearly much requiring careful consideration and we are now looking in detail at the Government’s guidelines published earlier this week.  While we wait for more certainty on this plan, remote teaching and learning will continue for all of you and we are continuing to look at how we might make the most of the end of term, if lockdown still applies. 

I spoke last week about being in a liminal space and in some ways we are not much further forward with as many questions as answers.  It is a heavy burden on those who have to make decisions about coming out of lockdown and freeing up the economy while protecting peoples’ health.  I quoted TS Eliot last week – and there is an urban myth as to why he insisted on his middle initial being used but I will leave that to you to work out.  Another one of his poems and a favourite of mine is ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’ – the one which begins with those great lines, 

“Let us go then, you and I

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient, etherized on a table.”

The poem dwells on the theme of indecision – a man who cannot make up on his mind on important matters and wracked with anxiety over not knowing what to do.

“Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

Before the taking of a toast and tea.”

“Do I dare

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” 

But ultimately knowing that a decision had to be taken.

“Would it have been worth while,

To have bitten off the matter with a smile,

To have squeezed the universe into a ball

To roll it towards some overwhelming question”

I do not envy much those who have to make such finely balanced and important decisions.  But decisions will be made and you can be assured that we are working hard to make sure we do what is right.

In the meantime, after last week’s Assembly it turns out there are a number of Stone Roses fans amongst my colleagues which is great to know.  I have also been enjoying the Desert Island Discs section of the Pastoral Newsletter and seeing which tracks have been chosen.  Unsurprisingly, Coldplay has featured.  This week’s random fact is that Chris Martin was in the 3rd Form in my boarding house when I was in the Upper Sixth.  Although I was Chapel Warden at the time, I cannot claim any great connection to his success in later life but I have found that some of his songs have become ear-worms recently – Yellow, The Scientist and Fix You in particular.  While I am on the theme of childhood nostalgia, if you are looking to use any spare time wisely, catching up on classic films is a great thing to do.  One in particular seems very appropriate at the moment and if you haven’t watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off yet, you really must.  More gags than an Isolation Olympics report and a motto for our times. “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” 

Stay safe, go well and crack on.