Assembly Points;Secondary

27th March 1998 at 00:00

760 pupils, most aged 13-18, with a few day pupils from 11 to 13. We have 5OO boys and 26O girls; 6OO are boarders.


The whole school meets in the School Chapel for a short service before lessons every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, while on Saturdays there is a congregational singing practice. On most Mondays and some Wednesdays, there is an assembly for one of the year groups.


On Tuesdays, usually myself or the assistant chaplain, Fiona Newton. on Thursday and Friday they are led by a department or a group within the school.The Monday and Wednesday year group assemblies give the different staff and the Levee (school prefects) the opportunity to convey information and promote certain activities. For example, the master in charge of skiing might address the youngest pupils on that year's ski holidays. The head Master takes two whole-school assemblies a term.


On Sundays there is whole school service in the chapel. Alternatively, there is a forum which looks at "God in the world", sometimes involving Christian charities. We also welcome speakers from faiths other than Christianity.


It is the weekday chapel services that boys and girls will remember as a period of 10 to 15 minutes quiet, thoughtful reflection. Each week's services are related to the theme of the week, part of an annual cycle from Creation, through Christmas, Easter and Pentecost to living the Christian life today. The list of these themes is printed in the front of the school's own hymn book.


Our motto is "Orando Laborando" (By praying and by working). Our famous and reforming Head Master, Dr Thomas Arnold, mirrored this with his principles of religious and moral codes, gentlemanly conduct and intellectual ability. You have to know where you're from in order to use the gifts you're given.


One memorable weekday chapel service was taken by the day boys of Town House last year. The school's regimental sergeant major, who runs the cadets, helped them abseil from the inside of the tower some 8O to 9O feet down into the middle of the chapel, exploring trust and dependency - both in equipment and in expert knowledge. It was an interesting treatment of the interaction between the material world and people in that week's theme, "The Life of Faith".

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