From the desk of the Head Master 23 November 2018
Bill Jennings came into school to run his Time & Space: Mothers & Sons workshop earlier this week. I must admit, I went along with some scepticism, wondering how valuable it would be, set against the cost of another late night for the boys and staff.
I was a little surprised to see so many people there – 90 boys and their mothers. Boys were initially split up from their own mums and compelled to introduce themselves to someone else’s before going into discussion groups (without their own mum) which were run by various facilitators (our School Prefects once again doing us proud, alongside mums who were veterans of previous sessions). At the end of the evening they were brought back to the Warwick Hall to be reunited, to share what the evening had revealed to them and show each other the “treasures” they had brought. It really was quite touching. There were some emotional parents and a lot of boys quite pleased to be getting a maternal hug. At a time when they can be seen to be drifting away and becoming more independent, it did seem the right time for them to reconnect for an evening. That initial scepticism evaporated over the course of the evening: many of those involved – adults and boys – remarked on how valuable the whole experience had been.
Bill finished the evening by inviting all the mothers and sons every six months – on 19 May and 19 November – to make time and space for one another. There must be a good number of Year 8, 9 and 10 mothers and sons who attended previous events and are making that time on the first second or third anniversary of their event. It is perhaps a helpful prompt for all of us to escape the demands of work, to extract our children from their iPhones or Xboxes, and to make that quality time, which tends not to present itself without us consciously creating it.
The Year 8 'Time and Space' event for Fathers and Sons is next week, Monday 26 November 6.30pm. Year 8 Dads – there is still time to sign up : it might just be the best thing you do together this year.