The long-awaited return has commenced.
After six months, the boarding Houses are buzzing again with the gentle hubbub of a considerable number of boarders.
They unpack their bags, walk around their new dormitories and kiss farewell to their parents. Everything seems normal.
Many, if not all, have been keen to get back into the usual swing of things.
This is after six months spent sitting on a sofa, imbibing lemonade, gobbling burgers and streaming Netflix.
Not to mention the endless days stretching deep into the horizon. But School has finally commenced. For my brother and me, the journey was the same as usual.
A quick two-hour dash starting in Norwich, traversing the multitude of intersections around Cambridge and into Oundle
by dinner time. But something which is not the same as usual is undoubtedly the boarding House.
As most readers will probably know, upon arrival back to School the Houses are divided into two households.
Each pupil is given their own part of the House and cannot enter the realms of the other, however enticing it may be.
Parents must be brief in their separations as one would not want to risk the chance that, after being carefully tested for the virus, a loved one somehow is contaminated
and vitiates the running of the School. Further, there are different meal times, prep times and doors by which to leave
the House, which prohibit the disparate broods from the cardinal sin of social interaction. To an outsider, it does not sound like rather a lot of fun.
But, in the long run, I think history will judge Oundle kindly.
It is not every day that the senior staff are tasked with returning one thousand teenagers who, after having driven some of their parents mad, are pushed back to School and into the hands of Housemasters and Housemistresses.
In all honesty, this endeavour must have scared the staff to the bone, whilst not even mentioning
the near impossible demands placed on them by the townspeople and the national government. But by heeding these essential concerns
(however illogical they may seem) the senior body has navigated a path which fulfils the aim of guaranteeing face-to-face education
and restoring some of the normal rhythm of School life. That is, in itself, an achievement.
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