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Have a little patience! A time for kindness...

Dear OFS Community,

Welcome back from a rather quiet and reflective half term break! As I said before we broke up, we were anticipating a circuit break and therefore we are all relieved that we are back, safe and well and that the government has allowed schools to remain open and running through this lockdown.

I felt that a look at the word 'patience' might be a worthwhile message and preparation for the weeks and months ahead! I talked about my impatience...I always choose the slowest lane in traffic and don't get me started on my ability to stand in the checkout line that encounters every possible issue as the others freely flow! I record programmes or a series so that I can binge watch and I recently added Amazon Prime as I can't wait for parcels! So, my question to your children was...

Is impatience simply about time and being able to make the most of it?

I'm afraid that I don't believe that it's as simple as that. I shared the following advert that captures the worst part of impatience and worth sharing on all levels, especially with some behaviour that I've seen outside my window and even reflected in American politics right now!

I believe that impatience is rarely about saving time, I suspect that it's more about competition. We can become aggressive when we see a car trying to push into our lane; we might feel slightly smug when our checkout lane moves faster than the one that we were about to join etc.

Going back to my impatience in a car - there are days when it feels as though every traffic light is against me, turning red as I approach. However, Sunday night was one of those rare occasions when I cursed every green light - I was driving my son to the train station and suddenly I was praying for the lights to turn red in order to enjoy another couple of minutes in the car with him. We were talking about what would happen if he wasn't allowed back from University and time became precious - I found myself waving cars through and being the most patient driver on the road in order to eek out more time!

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in your mind.
Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.

So, this inspired me to launch a whole school House Competition that will culminate on MAD (Make a Difference) Day tying in with the end of Lockdown but more importantly to celebrate the life of Mrs Brown who died so suddenly this time last year. Due to Covid, we have not been able to support her chosen charity with the events that we had planned and I am mindful of the promise that I made to a certain family 6 months ago who so kindly doubled our fund to nearly £10,000.

So I hope that as we enter lockdown that your children will be desperately keen to replace impatience with acts of kindness that could translate in sponsorship for the big House competition. Mrs Finch has already purchased vats of peroxide and I'm wondering which colour is most likely to suit me...Mrs Gascoigne (Headmistress of Broadrick) is keen to suggest that 'Gold' would suit me...so I'm not sure whether to prepare for the Daffodil below?!?

More details will follow but this is the first whole school competition that includes Pre Prep pupils and as I said in assemblies, 10 pence raised through personal initiative is better than £10 simply given without question. MAD day will be shared by the whole school who will be allowed to come to school with crazy hair that day!

House Sport

On Wednesday we had the perfect Autumnal day and it was cathartic walking through the grounds hearing the competitive shouts, cries and celebrations as House matches were being contested on the football pitches and netball courts.

The days are getting shorter and I hope that everyone can literally weather the return to lockdown. I suspect that Orley Farm pupils are going to find creative ways to fundraise in this month as we work to turn any impatience and frustration into kindness and a reminder that we have so much to be thankful for...

Tim Calvey