Date Posted... Jan 27th 2020
Happy Chinese New Year! The year of the Rat…or Mouse, as Stephanie so confidently told me on Friday morning!
The week begun in an unusual fashion on Monday morning with the girls donning their home clothes instead of dusting off their uniforms and smart business wear. Whilst the morning was to play out normally the afternoon was declared PARTY time with the school celebrating its 140th birthday!
At 2pm, the school congregated in the Sir Ben Ainslie Sports Hall for a Thanksgiving Service; Alumni dating back as far as the 40’s had been invited to share their memories, in person or in writing to be read out by a current pupil, of their school days and Truro School. It was fascinating to hear how much things have changed and to get just a snippet of a sense of how things used to be.
The rest of the week has been relatively normal and as busy as always. Choir and drama rehearsals, university trips and interviews, fencing and other sporting practices, to name just a few of the extracurricular clubs the girls have taken on alongside their academic studies, have kept everyone occupied. Prep time has been effectively used in the house and Malvern has been awash with visitors from other houses in any ‘spare’ time that the girls have managed to find.
On Wednesday evening, as we do every half term, the boarders from all four houses got together for a Boarders Chapel Service led by the Rev and the whole school have had Holocaust assemblies during school time too.
On Friday evening Tung, Winkie, Steph, Tulip, Aim and Louis dinner was at the Mandarin Garden, a local Chinese restaurant in town. They ate, with a number of boarders from other houses too, and celebrated the Chinese New Year together.
Feeling suitably full, Winkie, Steph and Tung (and Will from Trennick), having volunteered their time and skills, headed down to Boscowen Park and the local Scout hut with Mrs Copeland. I was so proud to hear how well the girls spoke about what the Chinese New Year means to them and about how and why they celebrate it. The girls’ came back buzzing having successfully taught the young Scouts how to write their names in Chinese. What a lovely thing to do.
On Saturday, I was once again reminded of just how lovely and willing to help the Malvern girls are. Marie, Helena G, Jess and Codi headed out and up to school at 8am (on a Saturday!!!) to help out with the entrance exam. By the time brunch came about, the girls had already completed a couple of hours of work!
The rest of the day was free with nothing formal planned. The girls enjoyed the slower pace and took the opportunity to visit the gym, complete prep, pop to town/Tesco and use the house facilities or see friends.
A slightly earlier roll call paved the way for our very own boarding Chinese New Year celebrations and Kath the chef laid on quite the banquet in the dining hall. There was a little bit of everything: duck and vegetable spring rolls, sweet and sour chicken, chicken and vegetable chow meins, sticky ribs, rice, noodles and prawn crackers; so much to choose from and all so yummy!
Saturday evening snacks were, quite rightly postponed (I don’t think there would have been room for more food anyway), in favour of a group cinema trip to watch Bad Boys. Those not keen stayed up at the dining hall to play Uno. Malvern was empty! And so quiet I didn’t know what to do with myself.
Que…Sport Stacking! With just Marie and Leanne pottering around the house I took the opportunity to introduce a new (to me anyway) sport to the girls. With an inter-house Sport Stacking competition being muted amongst the staff I thought the quiet evening would be the perfect opportunity to introduce the game and get some practice in myself…it turns out quite a few of the girls have come across this game before…and some are pretty quick! It didn’t take long for the girls’ competitiveness to shine through…as this blogs goes to press Marie holds the Malvern house record at 16.276 seconds!
On Sunday, the girls had a slow start to the day with nothing to do until brunch. Workouts were completed in the gym, Codi headed off for her taiquando grading and Phoebe headed up the hill for some DofE training.
For everyone else the hour between brunch and the afternoon activities was used productively with more gym visits and of course…more stacking!
As part of the boarders PSHEE programme, this weekend’s activity took the form of four Life Skills workshops. From budgeting/money management and Bake Off style healthy smoothie making, to exercise/health related sessions and spending time with the elderly residents at a local care home, the boarders entered into the day in true Truro School fashion, keen to learn and gain as much from each experience as possible.
Mrs Howe and I turned bake off judges in the Sixth Form Café, sending small groups down, one at a time, to Tesco with just £5 in the pockets and the brief of making a healthy, oaty, berry shake that not only served five but also tasted delicious. With hints and tips, food for thought one might say, as to whether fresh or frozen fruit might be cheaper and questions as to how they might bulk out, whilst also enhance, the flavour of their shake the teams headed off to raid the aisles at Tesco. Having sewn the seed that coming back with change might play to their advantage when it comes to scoring, the teams had plenty to think about; knowing they had to justify their decisions and purchases to us, the judging panel, made it all, even the more interesting.
Over in the Sir Ben Ainslie Sports Centre, Mr Hatfeild put the groups through their team building and communication paces. The final of the four workshops, organised and led by Mr Thompson saw the groups visit a local residential home around the corner from the school, Tregolls Manor. Here the boarders chatted away to the elderly residents; some even played cards or took a turn on the piano…when Mr Thompson let them get a tune in edge ways that was!
All in all, it was a great afternoon spent learning some valuable life skills and as ever I was impressed with the mature manner in which the girls (and their boarding peers) entered into it. Mr Copeland is planning a similar rotation of workshops with a focus on Positive Mental Health next half term!
This evening, having enjoyed a hearty roast with all the trimmings, the girls have been busying themselves with homework and preparations for the week ahead.
Louise has returned from spending the weekend in Exeter celebrating Chinese New Year with a friend, the weekly boarders are slowly filtering in and Helena is in-bound, on her way back from Cambridge where she recently secured an offer to study music at Trinity College.
In other fantastic news we have had further reason to celebrate this week with some brilliant fencing success; Leanne, who has had an intense competition season leading up to the selection of national fencers for the international championships, is now the number one ranked Junior fencer in Singapore and she will be invited to represent the country along with three other fencers in the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships 2020 to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia as well as the Junior and Cadet World Fencing Championships 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA! We are very proud of Leanne and can’t wait to hear how she gets on in the upcoming competitions!
Mrs Sarah Mulready (Housemistress, Girls Boarding)