Headmaster’s Notes: A Renaissance in Artisan Skills

19th March 21

As Year 1 demonstrated not so long ago inside their Toy Museum, there is a unique pleasure in nursing the survival of a much-loved gadget or toy. Cherished items were brought in from home, many having belonged to their parents, and these were typically modest — a board game or much-loved teddy bear. What was noticeable was the care that children instinctively showed for these otherwise inconsequential items and which offered me a beautiful reassurance about the goodness of our young people and a reminder of the simple pleasures in life. I observed that a number of these items had undergone lengthy surgery at home to retain their shelf-life and I sensed a renaissance of a self-sufficiency culture at Prince’s Mead, perhaps enhanced by the ‘war-time’ efforts we have all recently endured of late. The financial worth of their exhibits was not important and I found this a refreshing change from the materialistic, throw-away culture.

In the art room, it has been wonderful to see traditional artisan skills being encouraged this week with felting and ceramics lessons to name but a few – experiences and skills that offer our children opportunities for genuine happiness and fulfilment. I can only hope that as the pandemic subsides we are able to reflect on, and shape, the type of world we want for our children; to learn lessons and reset ourselves on a more sustainable path. At Prince’s Mead we will be using all the levers we have at our disposal, knowing that each and every one of us in our community has a vital role to play. I, for one, will be repairing my cherished but aged Land Rover this weekend and will have fun along the way.

I wish you all a very happy weekend.

Mr Peter Thacker