Schola Gone Viral!
On our return from the uplifting and moving Ampleforth Carol service at Corpus Christi, Covent Garden, the spirit and pluck of Ampleforth was epitomised by the Schola who sang carols to keep up the spirits of passengers stuck on the train for hours by damage to overhead cables. A video clip has gone viral (over 80,000 views to date!)
On our return from the uplifting and moving Ampleforth Carol service at Corpus Christi, Covent Garden, a very special setting thanks to Father Alan and his parish team, the spirit and pluck of Ampleforth was epitomised by the Schola who sang carols from the service to keep up the spirits of passengers stuck on the train for hours by damage to overhead cables. A video clip has gone viral (over 80,000 views to date - you can see it in this newsletter) with lovely comments about our wonderful students from highly impressed fellow passengers! Thank you to Edward Seymour, who conducted the Schola's (London) performance beautifully.
SHAC Rock on Saturday was a home grown, student-led celebration of rock and other genres of contemporary music. It was a great evening for all pupils with bands impressing and entertaining the audience with warm-hearted and high-volume support!
As I wrote to you on Tuesday, the publication of the excellent Ofsted and Catholic Schools Inspectorate (CSI) reports marked an important turning point for the College. I hope you've had a chance to read them and feel that your sons and daughters are doing really well indeed at Ampleforth. We are now back under the oversight of the Independent Schools Inspectorate and looking forward to an inspection holiday for the next 5 years! The icing on the cake was the fantastic new review from the Good Schools Guide which describes Ampleforth as “An astonishing place”. You can read the full review on the news page of our website.
That evening, OA Louis Hall (EW14) gave a gripping Headmaster’s lecture to the Upper Sixth, talking about the loss of his close friend Leo aged 26, his desire to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and setting up his charity 'the Big Hoof'. Since then, the Big Hoof has raised over £80,000 for European charities focussing on mental health, refugees, and life-threatening illnesses. Louis was joined by Harry Blakiston-Houston (EW14), who set up a project replacing windows in Ukraine blown out by war with sustainable plastic material that lets light through, keeps heat in, and is not as easily destroyed, allowing Ukrainians to move back into their homes. Both boys' dedication is an inspiration to us all.
Despite the weather affecting many fixtures this week, my congratulations go to St Bede’s and St Cuthbert’s & St Thomas’ for winning the Senior House Badminton, and St John's and St Bede's (again) who won the Intermediates amidst fierce competition.
Yesterday, we came together as a community for our first ‘Disconnect to Reconnect’ day as staff and students disconnected from their phones and talked to each other instead, connecting through conversation and discussions, as well as finding other ways to entertain ourselves in the evenings after prep. No phone calls were made and email correspondence was limited to emergency only. I applaud Victoria Anglim for initiating this important opportunity to reach out and deepen our friendships and relationships, as well as cultivating our well-being, building further our sense of community.
We were delighted to welcome around 40 Old Amplefordians, parents and friends for Christmas drinks in the elegant setting of our ‘Mouseman’ library last night. Today the festivities continued with a Christmas Lunchtime Concert with everything from ‘Silent Night’ to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and possibly the fastest 'Twelve Days of Christmas' ever heard. Sunday sees yet another musical highpoint in the Advent Season, as the Schola performs Handel’s Messiah – Marie and I are thoroughly looking forward to it and hope to see many of you there.