|10 Apr 2020
|News from the College
To the Bradfield Community
I am writing to wish you all well at the start of Easter weekend.
As the impact of Covid-19 becomes daily more apparent, my thoughts and prayers are above all for the health of the wider community and for those who are supporting this directly and indirectly, especially through healthcare services. I am also very conscious of the financial and personal hardship this crisis has brought to many and of the psychological impact of a time when the only certainty is uncertainty.
We will continue to do whatever we can to relieve some of this uncertainty by communicating news from Bradfield, and in particular, of next term as it is finalised. I hope that pupils and parents are encouraged by the promise of the remote education shared by Andy Logan yesterday in the form of an e-booklet. Along with our outstanding IT team, many staff have worked tirelessly throughout the last few weeks to prepare this and I am deeply grateful to them.
Bradfield remains serenely beautiful in a silence that is unusual even for school holidays. A small team is working very hard to keep the campus secure and ready to return to operation, whilst the rest of the staff are either working remotely or furloughed. We are all learning new skills – from digital skills to ‘flushing Friday’ (legionella prevention) and greeting each other distantly yet warmly as we enjoy the opportunity of exercise in our wooded valley.
Giovanni Boccaccio, the Italian author whose works were the subject of my doctoral research, describes in his Decameron the actions of a group of young people who remove themselves from plague-riven medieval Florence to tell stories in each other’s company. As supported by pamphlets written throughout that period, this was not mere escapism, it was an act that reflected the beneficial power of shared story-telling and the wellbeing this brings.
At a time we usually associate with family gatherings, lockdown and isolation may feel harder than ever despite the increasing familiarity of this strange state. I very much hope that over the next few days technology may allow families and friends to share restorative time – and stories – ‘together’. May the holiday weekend also allow us to reflect upon the message of hope that underpins the Easter story itself.
With very best wishes,
Dr C C Stevens