With the spring term now well underway, it is with pleasure I write my first blog of 2019! The first two weeks have been as busy as any other and I have lots of news to report.
This week we welcomed Amelia, from the 5th Year, to the house as a flexi boarder. Amelia joined us last Saturday and stayed through until Thursday evening. It was great to welcome a new face to the Malvern House family and we hope that Amelia enjoyed her time with us and that she will come back and stay with us again soon!
On Monday evening and with some of the girls again complaining that they had misplaced some of their laundry, Miss Malla got to work in the house laundry room. True to herself, and never one to do a job half-heatedly Miss Malla rolled up her sleeves, elicited some help from a few of the girls, and transformed the space way beyond my expectations.
Tuesday evening saw the old sports hall play host to the 5th Year parents evening and with GCSE’s looming, discussions focused on mock exam results and action planning for the next few important months of study.
Also on Tuesday evening, Lowenna attended her first dance class with Jason Thomas Dance in town. Lowenna is, as you know, one of our resident choristers but this is obviously not where her talents end! It was great to hear that she enjoyed the class and that she intends to continue to attend every Tuesday and Wednesday evening for the time being!
Wednesday was a busy day for all with a number of the girls choosing new and exciting activities to keep them busy on a Wednesday afternoon. For Kristina this meant making the most of the state of the art Leith’s Cookery School where apple crumble was on the menu. Whilst choosing an activity is compulsory for our lower school (1st – 5th Year) pupils, attendance is optional for the Sixth Form. That said it has been refreshing to see some of our Lower Sixth boarders making the most of all that is available to them whilst they are here with us! Military Fitness with Mr Whatley is not for the faint hearted so I was impressed to hear that Anna, and a slightly more apprehensive Sophie, had put their names down! I was even more impressed when I saw them upon their return…caked in mud, but buzzing from the session, the girls made a beeline for a hot shower!
Speaking of the new cookery school, I, along with Sophie and Cherry, and Ollie and Justas (two of the house prefects in Trennick), meet with Maria Taylor during Wednesday’s lunch break. With two Cook & Eat, bespoke sessions, planned for later in the term, we met to talk logistics and menus. With preparing the boarders for independent living a key driving force behind the boarders Life Skills Academy ethos, Mr Copeland and I are delighted that the boarders are going to be able to make the most of the schools new cookery facilities and specialist staff. I cannot wait to see the girls, and boys, whipping up a storm in a couple of weekends time; I am hoping I might even get to join in or at least get to taste some of the three course meal they will be preparing, cooking and then dinning in on!
The four boarding houses came together in the school Chapel on Wednesday evening after supper. These occasions, calendared once each half term, provide the perfect opportunity for celebration and reflection. The Rev, as ever, led a lovely service in which we reflected on making sensible decisions. The story of the old man, his son and their donkey, and the accompanying pictures, will certainly stay with me, as will the Rev’s call for us to listen to our moral conscience and to trust our gut instinct a little more. The chapel services also provide us with the opportunity to sing. With Mr Thompson at the helm, there really is no excuse but to go for it and the impromptu house sing off at the close of the service was a particular highlight of mine…especially as I am sure that Malvern were streaks ahead! Competitive? Me?
The end of the week was much quieter in comparison with little to note outside of the normal school day and we soon found ourselves downing tools at 3.45pm on Friday! On Friday evening, Amy and Kristina joined Max from Trennick for some dinner in town and the other girls made the most of a quiet hour of prep before some sporting (badminton/gym) action in the SBASC. Bedtimes were welcome and the house was quiet at 11pm.
Saturday morning saw early starts for Cherry, Sophie, Codi and Leanne. Cherry who is a senior prefect headed up the hill to help out with the year six entrance exam morning whilst for Sophie, Codi and Leanne the allure of the gym was too great!
After brunch most of the girls retreated back into the warm house and made the most of some down time. Some study was completed, town and Tesco’s were visited and the house facilities were enjoyed.
For Anna there was no such respite; having been selected to represent the school in a triangular netball fixture against West Buckland School and Shebbear College, Anna, who has become a permanent fixture in the Under 18’s netball team this year, headed off to West Buckland School in Devon. Meanwhile, back in Truro, Sophie had a driving lesson and Codi spent the day out with her Godparents who live nearby.
Saturday evening soon came about and an evening of cheese was on the cards!
Anna made it back in good time and with mixed success having beaten Shebbear College but having lost to a very talented West Buckland.
This term we are trialling a more formal use of the house prefects, Deputy Head and Head of House, and part of this will see the organisation of the Saturday socials fall to them on a rota system. This week, it was Cherry’s week in charge and so I knew due care and attention would have be paid to the evenings plans. With Jemma’s successful chocolate fondue of last week Cherry decided to stick with the fondue theme but this time it was to be CHEESE!!!
With the shopping list prepared, I headed off to Tesco delighting in the fact that Cherry had not only written the exact items to be bought (with their quantity, cost and associated offer included) but she had also ensured that the list had been written in shop order!!! It was a quick in and out and it was not long before the smells of garlic, and emmental cheeses filled the common room.
As soon as the cheese had melted, the girls got stuck in and it was great to see them enjoying each other’s company in the common room. Fast forward an hour and the cheese fog had descended but all the girls agreed that the evening had been a big success! Well done Cherry!
On Sunday morning, Helena was up early for morning service at the Cathedral and some of the girls went to the gym before brunch. It was then a few hours of free time before the eagerly awaited, and much requested, bubble football session with the Trennick boys. Bubble football, for those of you that are not familiar, sees players ‘play football’ whilst totally enclosed (except for their legs and feet) in a big see-through bubble. The pictures below should give you a flavour….it was a very energetic, sweaty hour with much giggling and fun had!
This evening, having enjoyed a roast lamb dinner with all the trimmings, the girls are busying themselves with homework, room tidying and general preparations for the school week ahead. Our weekly boarders have been returning and the house is almost back to full capacity. Tonight we have also welcomed Erin to the house as a weekly boarder. We hope that she settles in quickly and enjoys her evenings with us; I know that the girls will do everything they can to help her settle in and I am sure she will very quickly feel like part of the Malvern family.
Looking ahead, I am sure the week will fly by and it will soon be Miss Naylor’s turn to report back to you. I am hoping that Cherry will start to work on the house canvas 2018-2019, and I know Sophie has some plans for her weekend in charge as social secretary! The t-shirts and fabric pens have been ordered! These girls are getting very clever…I opened my emails this morning to find that Sophie had shared her Amazon ‘wishlist’ with me!
Until next week, goodnight from Malvern.
Mrs Sarah Mulready (Housemistress, Girl’s Boarding)