Добрий день (Dob-rey dehn)! That’s hello in Ukrainian – as the Headmaster now knows, and it was with those words that he was greeted on his surprise visit to Headmaster Zelenskyy at the Kyiv Boys’ High School.
In a wide-ranging meeting covering all aspects of education, there was a frank and productive exchange of views leading to closer co-operation. Of note, and typical of the Headmaster, was his willingness to offer practical help on several levels.
Whilst The Kyiv Combined Cadet Force is short of equipment, the Headmaster arranged an immediate zoom call with Senior Master Mr Wallace to ask what state-of-the-art equipment the BoJo Academy could spare to alleviate their shortfall.
Mr Zelenskyy was literally left speechless on being told that the BoJo CCF could ship over three muzzle-loading flintlock rifles – retro-fitted with laser crosshair sights – a pair of percussion duelling pistols and a decommissioned Mills bomb.
All aboard (or not)!
For many years, the school’s model steam railway The Shapps Line, has been a popular attraction. Running around the school’s perimeter, the two-mile, 15-minute, two-stop ride was especially popular on sports days and during fetes.
Passengers will recall stopping at Tuck Shop Halt to pick up refreshments, including Ms Patel’s wonderful Rwandan fudge – neatly packaged in a basket case. Lakeside View, noted for its commanding vistas of the ornamental lake and the boating activity – especially the dinghy races – was another favoured stopping-off point.
The train was for many years driven and maintained by the school’s Regius Professor of Militant Studies, Mr Lynch – or Red Mick as the boys affectionately call him – but he has now unfortunately had to be suspended.
Mr Lynch recently made a number of demands which are clearly unworkable. He has insisted that at Tuck Shop Halt there should now be both a porter and stationmaster, and Lakeside View should have two full-time ticket inspectors. On top of these wants, he has requested that the model train Lenin now has a guard and fireman, engineer and conductor.
The school does not have the money for these additional posts and unfortunately the train will remain inactive until cooler heads prevail.
There was a welcome opportunity for staff to express their compassion and commitment to helping refugees by joining the demonstration that made its way through the village last week. Brandishing placards made by pupils in the art department, it was a noisy but good-humoured protest.
One enterprising community volunteer took it upon himself to gather names and addresses of those willing to ‘take in’ either a refugee or asylum seeker. Unfortunately, despite a massive outpouring of goodwill from all sides, it transpired that all the local residents sadly had not one spare bedroom to muster between them, but they were unanimous in their view that ‘something must be done’.
The Headmaster perhaps summed it up best when he said: ‘Whilst to outsiders, the nine-bedroomed Lodge where I live with my family might look to have abundant capacity, this is simply not the case. We have a large extended family who regularly stay with us and it would quite simply be impractical to section off a room permanently. Moreover, the sanitary facilities are not sufficient to undertake this suggestion.’
Well said, Headmaster – we fully understand!
An apple a day!
News reaches us from Matron, located at her villa in the Algarve. For the last two years, Matron has successfully overseen a big increase in the number of boys seeking advice and help, and we are thrilled that this increase shows no signs of abating.
Matron tells us that she has been completely overwhelmed and feels unable to continue with the demanding three half-days that she currently commits to.
To streamline the health and wellbeing of the boys going forward, Matron has launched her ‘look it up yourself’ app. This digital innovation she assures us will lead to quicker and more accurate diagnoses and earlier treatment options. We are in your debt, Matron – thank you for your continued selfless dedication.
The ice man cometh!
It was a real thrill to have acclaimed naturalist and TV icon Sir David Attenborough address the school recently on the theme ‘You’re all going to die.’ In a well-received talk, he outlined how parents selfishly taking holidays would lead to their children drowning in bed or being eaten alive by polar bears.
To great amusement, the Headmaster (who had raided the Dramatic Society’s prop box) lolloped towards the stage in a particularly tight polar bear outfit.
Missing the first step, he stumbled awkwardly into some female members of staff and was seen clutching at them to break his fall. Making polar bear grunts, which to some onlookers sounded remarkably like ‘phwoar’, he eventually steadied himself and took his place on the podium.
Some junior boys were somewhat traumatised by both Sir David’s predictions and the Headmaster’s antics and had to be comforted by Housemistress Truss – if only we had Matron’s app to hand!!
Finally, there is absolutely no truth in the Bursar’s somewhat doom-laden missive that the school is now officially bankrupt. Please Mr Bursar, in future these intemperate utterances should be restricted to the ‘inner circle’ of Governors and not be disseminated to parents.