25th October 2013

I hadn’t expected to get another blog in before half term, but I know that literally several of you are on the edge of your seats to know whether I’ve gained a more respectable number of followers on the Instagram thingy. More of that in a moment.

First to a story that, as Mrs G puts it, has been good for my humility. By far the best idea to come out of Fyling Hall this term is a weekly newsletter, called The Week Ahead and sent out via Parentmail, which gives the nitty gritty detail of when trips and fixtures leave and return and exactly what’s going on when. Parents have been very enthusiastic. For those with small children it helps them to work out if their offspring’s bag for the day needs to be packed with wellingtons or a carved pumpkin. For the parents of teenagers at the slightly more stroppy and monosyllabic end of the spectrum it gives them some more insight into what’s going in their child’s school life. Lots of parents have told me in emails, on the phone and in person what a good idea it is, and each and every time I dutifully and honestly point out that it was Mr Coates’s idea and that he does most of the work – I just do the nerdy bit at the end.

Now, to the end of an eight week half term, and a big day at Fyling Hall yesterday. The juniors spent the afternoon at the Forest school celebrating Halloween. There were some extraordinary pumpkins, possibly not entirely without help from mummy and daddy. They toasted marshmallows on the fire, gathered sweeties and then had a few competitions.  The ‘best monster walk’ was very entertaining, but several rounds of ‘best scream’ left me pathetically grateful that I’m a secondary school specialist! There was also a story from Joe the Gap student and lots of singing courtesy of Miss Edwards, and an impressive amount of freestyle rolling about in the mud. Some of them then went off and did a couple of hours of karate club, and back they came this morning full of energy and dressed in pink. They’ve raised about £1,000 for cancer research – there are only 28 of them!

A big day for the senior school, too. A charity concert in the evening which raised about £400 for InterActive, which works with disabled and able bodied children in Whitby. It was all organised by the pupils (which any teacher will tell you requires an even greater amount of time and effort from staff). If your idea of a school concert is a large orchestra massacring a classical piece, what goes on in the Barn would come as a surprise. There was classical music, including some wonderful Beethoven on the piano from Leon and some Lassus from the Seven Sisters – a group of ladies including one of our parents. There was also plenty of folk and rock and everything else, from a variety of groups many of which included George and/or Kate, but lots of others, especially fro the GCSE and A Level music groups. George and Horus also performed pieces that they had written/composed themselves. And in typical Fyling Hall fashion one of the performers was a girl who only arrived yesterday morning for a taster day!

After that there was a bonfire and some very impressively scary ghost walks in the woods and gardens around the school, all meticulously planned by Mr and Mrs Perry. I won’t trouble you with the gory details in case you’re eating, but a very good time was had by all.

And so back to Instagram. I’m only up to 44 ‘followers’, and one of them’s my dad, so I’m not holding out too much hope for the twitter account that is my half term project.

Happy holiday!