QE Update
MAY 2020
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Front of School
Letter from the Headmaster
Dear Parents and Boys

May I begin by reminding all our families that tomorrow, Friday, is a Bank Holiday and that boys, therefore, have a day off from remote learning, which will resume on Monday.

As you will know, the May Day Bank Holiday, traditionally held on the first Monday in the month, has this year been put back to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe). While we are not yet at the point of being able to declare victory over Covid-19, many have drawn parallels between the war-time spirit and the situation pertaining to this current time of crisis. People everywhere have been playing their part, large or small, in the collective effort against the virus nationally and internationally, and communities have come together to support one another. Just as during the war, people have in recent weeks demonstrated the resilience, forbearance and adaptability required of them, sustained by the firm belief that things will get better. And the war-time generation have served as an inspiration to so many – think of how the actions of Captain Tom have resonated and won the hearts of the nation.

There have been contributions worth celebrating in our own Elizabethan community: the PPE that has been manufactured for the health service; the voluntary work undertaken by boys, and the cheer that will be brought to those in Ravenscroft Nursing Home by the musical performances boys have produced for them. Moreover, simply by observing social-distancing measures and staying at home, we have all played a vital role. It is right to pause to mark these things and celebrate what everyone has achieved thus far in unexpected circumstances.

Normality will resume eventually, and it is important that we invest our energy in the right things to give ourselves the best chance to pick up where we left off as individuals and as a School. That has been our consistent aim: to sustain health, wellbeing, academic progress and, crucially too, interests and activities.

The Headmaster at the time of VE Day was Ernest Jenkins. In his 30 years at QE, he did so much to establish, develop, and make central to the School's culture, extra-curricular enrichment. Sport, the performing arts, debating – through all of this and more he helped build the rounded education on which the QE experience has ever since been built. At this unprecedented juncture, we want that experience to be maintained so far as is possible: in this edition of QE Update, our Assistant Head (Pupil Involvement), Crispin Bonham-Carter, sets out some of the steps taken to ensure the continuation of wide extra-curricular opportunities. I encourage all boys to get involved.

Mr Jenkins also presided over the School during the tougher years of the war. Old Elizabethan Ken Cooper provides his brief reflections on being a pupil at the School during World War II, including the impact of air raids and the damage inflicted on the School when it received a direct hit in a bombing raid in early 1941. On that occasion, Mr Jenkins wrote to the senior boys instructing them to come into School on a Sunday in their work-clothes to help clear the rubble so that the School could open as planned for term. The present challenges are of a very different nature, but I hope that this spirit and resolve remains a feature of our Elizabethan community.

I know that the present situation is making us appreciate the benefits of working together. None of us is used to isolation. Ingenuity has, though, surfaced and I would encourage all to take every opportunity to engage as fully as possible. Perhaps this Bank Holiday weekend will be a good time for that. It will also be a good time to relax, to reflect and take stock. You can catch up below with the latest developments from The Queen’s Library and the PE, Music and English departments, and with the home learning and varied extra-curricular involvement of some of our Year 7 boys. Why not also take a few moments to read our special edition of The Arabella magazine and find out about our Earth Day competition winners?

We wait to hear what the Prime Minister says on Sunday regarding the next phase of the virus response and the impact of this upon schooling. We will keep you all fully updated as and when things develop, at every stage ensuring that we try to do what is best in the short and longer term for the boys' wellbeing and future prospects.

I wish you all well.
Enright Signature
Mr Neil Enright
Image of Raphael Herberg and Crispin Bonham Carter, Assistant Head (inset)

That’s the spirit: moving Enrichment online, bringing boys together

Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, is said to have advised “never let a good crisis go to waste” and, in that spirit, our Enrichment teams are tirelessly innovating to provide home access to as many as possible of the clubs and activities boys enjoy at school.

Find out more
Image of Jonathan Hart (Director of Sport), Surya Bowyer (Head of Library Services), Robert Hyland (Head of English), Ruth Partington (Director of Music) and Anish Rana (playing football)

Departmental snapshots: English, Music, PE and The Queen’s Library

Here is our latest summary of news and innovative developments from across the departments.

Find out more
Brave New World competition entries

‘Collaborative independence and isolated community’:
competition winners announced from QE in lockdown

A wealth of creative talent is showcased in this month’s special competition edition of The Arabella – a magazine produced by QE boys featuring the work of the pupils.

Find out more
Image of Earth Day logo and recycled bird feeder

Saving the planet from climate change: competition winners announced

The twin importance of message and method in fighting climate change was brought to the fore in the two winning entries in the Geography department’s Earth Day competitions.

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Image of Edward Muscat

Living, learning and looking out for each other

From food technology to PE, taking in all other subjects along the way, boys are finding their feet in their home learning environments and still relishing being part of the QE community.

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Image of VE Day Celebrations

VE Day: recreating those never-to-be-forgotten moments
– and memories from an old boy who was there

The History department has thrown down a VE Day 75th anniversary challenge to the boys: recreate one of the famous photographs from the celebrations marking the end of European hostilities in World War II.

Find out more
Founded 1573
Queen Elizabeth's School, Queen's Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5 4DQ
Tel: 020 8441 4646
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