Baker’s Beacon Blog – Week 3

13 October 2022

Dear Parents,

I had, what I thought was, a very nice office at my previous school.  It had a desk, chairs, a coffee table, pictures, a bookcase and lots of my personal items. I had no problem with it and it was very functional but I don’t think I ever had a parent or visitor compliment me on the room. At The Beacon, however, I have already had a plethora of praise for what is my new office. The soft furnishings, easy lighting and the feeling that you are in someone’s front room rather than a Headteacher’s office has a positive and calming effect on visitors. But, I think it’s missing something…

When I first visited The Beacon in June 2021, my eye was drawn to the Harry Potter ‘Sorting Hat’ in the window of the Head’s Office. I instantly thought, “that’s a good talking point” and something that’s relevant and relatable to boys of prep school age. Will Phelps, completely understandably, took it with him to his new school so I thought of buying a replacement over the summer. And then, almost as if was meant to be, a promotional email dropped into my inbox and I thought, that, would be different…but perfect.

I ordered it a few weeks ago and got it delivered to my home. In Assembly last week I challenged the boys to guess what it was. I gave them three clues:

  • It has something directly related to The Beacon
  • It will look great in the day but even better at night
  • It was delivered last weekend but will not be ready until the end of the week

Many boys came up to me throughout the week but only two, Mr Langley and Hugo Stevens (5Y and pictured below) got it absolutely right – a (2065 piece, 60cm tall, fully operational with Fresnel lens) Lego Lighthouse. Not just the connotation with the word beacon but our Houses – Cromer, Eddystone, Portland and Trinity – are all named after UK lighthouses and there is an image of a Lighthouse in the glass on our front door. It seemed completely appropriate. It appeared to be a tough yet enjoyable build but unfortunately I didn’t get to find out. Once delivered at home, Patrick (16) and Joseph (14) eagerly set about the construction; more and more was completed every day I returned home. At one point I started where they had left off but was promptly told to leave it alone as it was “very technical and needed careful attention”. I did remind said teenagers that one never truly grows out of Lego but my offer of help was dismissed.

I unveiled the finished piece in Tuesday’s Assembly and we even turned all the lights off in the Spinney Theatre to wonder at the rotating light. Now it sits, proudly, as a beacon at ‘The Beacon’ and completes my office. Whilst I stated at the start of this term that I was not going to change anything at our School, I feel it’s the right time to re-name our superb newsletter. From now on, as you can see above, the weekly newsletter of The Beacon School will be known as ‘The Beacon Lighthouse’. A fitting name for a publication that showcases and shines a light on everything great about our School.

Finally, my immense appreciation and respect to five of our colleagues – Michelle Pickard, Jenny Grubb, Claire Sharp, Kirsty Mancinelli and Sue Coleman – who are taking part in the London Bridges Wellness Walk this Sunday, to raise money for Diabetes UK, a charity very personal to them as individuals and as a group. I am sure you will join me in wishing them all the best for the endeavour and, if you can, supporting them using the link below.  Good luck Team Beacon – walk well and raise lots of money for such a worthy cause – we are very proud of you.

Have a good weekend

Nick Baker

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