Ducks also symbolize loyal intelligence. Recent research at this very university has shown that, beneath their cute and fluffy exterior, there is some intelligent ‘imprinting’ going on in ducklings’ brains. This is the process by which they very quickly work out who their mother is, so they can attach themselves to that mother more effectively than other creatures. This partly explains why ducklings (like Reception boys) can get themselves into such neat lines so quickly, as they waddle behind their mother so soon after birth. This can go slightly wrong, though, and if a duckling is removed from its mother immediately after birth, it can attach itself to whatever it first sees, ranging from cardboard boxes to dogs. This is presumably why Donald Duck is so close to Goofy. Finally, of course, the very fact that these ducklings appear in spring, at Easter – alongside lambs and daffodils on Easter cards – symbolises new life. While Christians are celebrating Jesus’s resurrection – rising to new life from his dark tomb – eggs are celebrated and exchanged to celebrate new life in nature. And those loyal, intelligent ducks can teach us a lot about how we might live our lives from springtime onwards.
So there you are, it wasn’t quite so bonkers after all!
Have a great weekend and a very happy and productive term,
We have some more awards to add to our Year 8 haul, so many congratulations to: Hugh (Academic Exhibition, MCS), Ethan (All-Rounder Award, MCS), Adam (Music Scholarship and Governors’ Presentation Award, MCS), Leo (Music Exhibition, MCS), Joseph (Music Scholarship and Governors’ Presentation Award, MCS), Tommy (Music Exhibition, St Edward’s), Paddy (Music Scholarship, Marlborough), Angus (Academic and Art Scholarships, D’Overbroeck’s), and Theo (Music Exhibition, D’Overbroeck’s).
Our Year 7s have been enjoying themselves taking part in a number of leadership-style activities over the past week or so: writing to me to reflect on their views on the nature of leadership and the areas of the school in which they would like to take a lead in Year 8; having short chats with my SLT colleagues and I (not really ‘interviews’, but a gentle introduction to the concept) about their letters, experiences and views; doing a little public speaking with Dr Gallagher; and taking part in a series of enjoyable teamwork exercises to hone their skills, before enjoying their well-earned pizza-based refreshments. We are keen to reduce any sense of ‘hierarchy’, and to find opportunities for all of the boys to develop what are increasingly called ‘character’ traits in their final year here. I look forward to announcing the results soon!
Well done to Rishaan in Year 6 for his 50+km bike ride over the vacation, raising money for Children in Need. Rishaan smashed his fundraising target, and the full story appeared in the Oxford Mail: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/19243404.iffley-village-blenheim-palace-cycle-young-boys-charity-ride/ . Also doing his bit for charity is George in Year 5 who took part in fundraising for National Autism Awareness Week. He walked 19km over seven consecutive days, raising over £100 for the National Autistic Association. Thank you and well done!
As I write this, the emerging sunshine reminds us that it is time for the boys to come to school with hats, water bottles and (on especially sunny days) sunscreen already applied. Many thanks. I am fully aware I have tempted fate and that it will now rain for three weeks.
The very best of luck to the choristers who resume their evensong schedule this weekend. You can keep up to date with services, including livestreams, on the Choir’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/NewCollegeChoir/featured
Next Wednesday evening is our Zoom parents’ evening with VMTs and the College Organists. Sign-up information has already been sent out via Parentmail.
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
8.25 Charity Committee Meeting
9.00 Chapel. Speaker: Dr Marietta van der Tol, Postdoctoral Fellow, Blavatnik School of Government
18.00 Parents’ Evening with Visiting Music Teachers (Zoom)
Monday, 3 May 2021
School and bank holiday
Tuesday, 4 May 2021
Deadline for ABRSM Music Theory exam entries
Deadline for ABRSM Practical exam entries
Wednesday, 5 May 2021
8.25 School council meeting
9.00 Chapel. Speaker: The Revd Dr Mel Marshall, Associate Chaplain, Merton College