And here it is….the last blog of the Autumn Term 2018-2019!!!
This week has seen the 5th Years writing their mock GCSE examinations and despite the pressure that this inevitably puts on the students, I have been both impressed and proud of how Stephanie, Kristina and Amy have coped and prepared themselves. The house has had a more studious feel these last few weeks and bedrooms have been made over with new, spider diagram type, wall paper! It has been great to see the girls leaning on and helping each other and I must give them credit where credit is due for initiative, as they have definitely capitalised on the added benefit of live-in staff this week too. My duty evening on Tuesday was spent recapping circle theorems and quadratic inequalities. I hope that the hard work and extra hours will have paid dividends but despite the results, it has been great to see them work hard!
In other news this week, the advent calendar chocolate treats in the morning continue to get the girls out of bed, Sophie, Meg and Anna spent Monday morning in Penryn on the A Level Art trip, the long awaited hoodies finally arrived and the second late night shopping Wednesday was enjoyed by some.
Keen to initiate more, friendly, inter boarding house competitions we invited Mr Meads, Head of Art, to tour the houses on Tuesday evening. Tasked with casting his artistic eye around the four common rooms, he set about judging the Christmas decoration efforts. Last on the list for judging was Malvern and so I felt sure I would be the first to know the outcome…until Mr Copeland phoned me whilst Mr Meads was on his way down the hill to explain that I was to provide an empty envelope in which the results could be sealed!!! Competitive? The staff? Definitely not!
On Friday, early homework and revision was the order of play before the girls went as a house to the school Christmas Concert in the Old Sports Hall. Winkie, Sophie, Helena, Cherry and Lowenna were performing and all enjoyed the evening. The first year singing on mass was definitely a winner with the girls reporting just how cute it was!
There was no lie in for me on Saturday as I headed up the hill for a hockey fixture against Mount Kelly and West Buckland. The girls meanwhile, enjoyed a longer sleep before heading up the hill to brunch. That said Codi and Sophie did beat me to it as they were already in the gym!
The day was to be a free day and the girls spent time relaxing, completing prep and/or popping into town for some shopping. Amy attended a special Religious Study revision session and then headed to the Burrell to do some practise for her drama performance whilst Helena spent the afternoon rehearsing for the evenings Messiah concert in the Cathedral.
Saturday evening would not be Saturday evening without feast type treats and having consulted the girls I laid on an array of crudités, dips, pizza, chicken, garlic bread, frozen yoghurt, ice cream and a popular choice of late, berries and melted chocolate, fondue style! The girls enjoyed a relaxed evening in the common room with Christmas music and a lot of laughter.
On Sunday, lie-ins were enjoyed before brunch and then the girls headed off in a coach bound for the Eden Project in St Austell. All four boarding houses came together for this annual, ice skating trip and it was great to hear how much fun they had on the ice.
After a ‘quick’ visit to the gift shop the return journey commenced and the girls were eager to get back for the showering and pampering to begin. The universe had other ideas however and the girls ‘getting ready’ time was cut short due to the coach breaking down just outside Truro. Quick changes into party dresses were therefore in order and the girls transformed themselves in impressive time! Looking beautiful, they headed up the hill to the Chapel were the entire boarding community came together for the Boarders Christmas Service.
In his usual, perfect way, the Rev led a touching and unique service. Christmas greetings were given in German, French, Russian, Lithuanian, Finnish and Cantonese to celebrate the diversity and different countries represented in the boarding community. Christmas hymns were sung and beautifully harmonised by the resident choristers and after the closing prayer we headed over to the dining hall where the catering staff had been slaving away all day.
The hall had been transformed and we were treated to a festive feast. Soup or prawn cockatil starters were enjoyed and then the main of roast turkey (or pork, lamb or beef), pigs in blankets, potatoes, veggies, stuffing and gravy was served. Eton mess ice cream cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies made for the perfect pudding and it was great to see the boys and girls, both senior and junior, mixing and integrating so well.
After the dinner Mr Copeland, Head of Boarding, started the speech and award giving process. Our Head of Malvern House, Jemma, joined forces with Ollie, Head of Trennick House, to give a great round up of the term speech.
It was then over to me to hand out the Malvern awards. Without naming and shaming, I will let you speculate on who was awarded what, prizes were given in the following categories:
- the most bizarre incident (noodles in the kettle)
- the shortest skirt wearer (there were many contenders for this one!)
- the least prepared for independent living (the washing machine/tumble dryer mishap)
- the most air miles accumulated
- the most balls juggled
- the emergency services award (burnt toast and the arrival of firefighters)
- the ‘scared of the dark’ award, and
- the Malvern Legend
After the speeches and awards, the dance floor was cleared and the girls danced and partied into the night. I literally had to drag them away and down the hill to bed. It is safe to say, some shapes were cut and a lot of fun was had!!!
After the party, we congregated back in the Malvern House common room. Clearly tired from the days antics the girls turned into bed without prompting. Exhausted and with throbbing feet….or was that just me…they were looking forward to a good nights sleep!
Monday and Tuesday have been busy and it is for this that the blog is a little delayed. Monday night was party night once again (these girls certainly do have a hectic social life; it exhausts me just thinking about it), with the Sixth Form Christmas Party at the Alverton Hotel. Never one to miss out on a photo opportunity, we invited the boys from Trennick down to the house for some pre party socialising and nibbles. I am sure you will agree that the girls looked stunning and the boys scrubbed up pretty well too!
After the obligatory photos, Mr Copeland chauffeured the excited group down to the Alverton Hotel in one of the school minibuses for which the girls were eternally grateful…it was raining and they were wearing heels after all!
When the girls returned later that night, I was ready with rounds of toast and cups of tea; it was great to sit down with the girls to hear all about their evening and pursue the photos that they took…they definitely made the most of the photo booth!
Tuesday’s evenings planned Christmas Carol singing with Mr Thompson was unfortunately cancelled and we are yet to find a time that all the girls are together in the house (we have once again fallen victim of a horrid sick bug) to exchange our secret santa presents. I am therefore planning a festive roll call tomorrow morning with Christmas music and present swapping! If we were not already in the Christmas spirit, there will be no excuse!
Tuesday was also my birthday and having been summoned to the common room for 10pm roll call the girls surprised me with a lovely rendition of happy birthday, some presents and a very tasty cookies and cream cake. I am humbled by their thoughtfulness and have already put the scarf and diffuser to good use! I understand the girls snapped away and there was even a video but I have not been privy to these just yet so I am pleased to report that I escape the embarrassment of having to include these on this blog!
Now with just three days left, all that remains for me to say is that it has been a real honour to head up Malvern House and girls’ boarding this term. We have a very special group of young ladies this year and I am really looking forward to watching them grow and develop further as the year, and years to come, progress. It is with sadness that we say good-bye to four members of the Malvern family this term. Anna and Hannah return to Germany, Charlotte will become a day pupil once again and Emma is leaving the house to reside nearby in Truro. All four girls will be hugely missed and I know I speak for everyone involved with Malvern when I wish them the very best for their futures. Charlotte and Emma, we are expecting you to visit and Anna and Hannah, if yu are ever passing please pop in!
Lastly, but very importantly, I would like to wish all the girls, both senior and junior, and their families a very happy Christmas. In addition, I would like to add my thanks to the staff, to Miss Naylor, Miss Wright and Miss Malla and to Miss Broadhurst, Mr Webb and Mrs Kenward, THANK YOU; your support and help this term has been unfaltering and I very much appreciate everything that you have done! Both Malvern House and Pentreve House are lucky to have such an amazing staff team and I hope that you all have a much deserved and very happy Christmas.
Until next year, goodbye from a festive feeling Malvern House.
Mrs Sarah Mulready (Housemistress, Girls’ Boarding)