17 July 2020
Our term has ended, like the lockdown we have grown accustomed to.
Having spent a whole term learning from home, outgoing Deputy Head Boy Patrick Miles looks at the activities and achievements of Year 7 and 8 boys through lockdown.
Oldfield — the name we give to John Lyon Years 7 and 8 — has embraced the lockdown spirit despite the unprecedented circumstance. It has been great to see so many boys getting involved in the extra-curricular activities John Lyon staff made available. Community spirit has prospered right through our whole School and our youngest two years have been no exception.
Spending time with family and staying active have been key features of lockdown with boys taking part in a variety of activities. Yet, boys have balanced this well while continuing to adapt to their new online learning, with many being awarded merits for their work.
Lockdown has also seen boys take advantage of their spare time and master new skills like riding a bike, do an ‘around-the-world’, complete a Rubik’s cube or learn a new instrument. Some have even ventured into the world of household chores to help their overworked and tired parents by cooking, ironing and vacuuming.
Despite the dull and morbid world we have been exposed to in the past few months, boys have allowed their creative juices to flow. They have continued to improve their musical talents, some going above and beyond. Akshar Patel used music technology to create a piece of music which has been shared around the world. Others chose to share their knowledge of musical theory, like Oliver Scott who taught his brothers.
But the creativity didn’t stop there. Many boys embraced the nature we were beginning to become more and more exposed to and decided to draw and paint their surroundings. Dillan Patel learnt how to edit photos. Take a look at this piece he created.
Maan Sheth used his creative ability to create a stop motion animation and many other boys chose to work together to create a YouTube channel called Mayhem to Earth. Quite a fitting name for the times we live in.
Some boys have taken to more manual activities to express their creativity like gardening or family DIY projects. For example, several have learnt how to plant and grow various herbs, vegetables or flowers.
Both Oliver Scott and Janushan Suresh were involved in improving the aesthetic of their gardens, with Oliver repainting his and Janushan helping his dad build a garden shed. In the past month Kiran Patel has been involved in building a bench for him and his family. He has said that he has learnt a lot from this experience and it has motivated him to do more projects like this.
Baking and cooking have been other popular activities for boys to show their community spirit. In fact, several Year 7 and 8 boys have participated in the virtual cooking classes experimenting with a variety of ingredients. For instance, Ajun Patil has learnt how to bake banana bread Arusan Ul Haq learnt how to bake three kinds of bread.
At the end of Summer Term, Cricket Week gave boys another opportunity to show off their ‘Bake-Off’ skills. Jai Davison baked some lovely filo parcels and Nicholas Smeulders baked a beautiful looking cake. During the Cricket Week 11 cakes were baked and 65 entries of activities were submitted by Years 7 and 8 combined.
Yet one of the favourite pastimes for the boys and for parents was most assuredly sport. The Coronavirus lockdown saw almost all boys take part not only in their scheduled PE classes and Games sessions but also staying active anyway possible. We have seen some tremendous efforts from our boys.For example, Racheith Rajan won House Golf for Moore hitting 36, only 6 above par on the Harrow School course.
During the whole school 2.6 Challenge Bobby Patel walked an impressive 6.2 miles between Harrow & Wealdstone and Wembley and Ravi Gurjar decided to spread the community spirit by phoning his 89-year-old neighbour to complete his 2.6 Challenge.
Other forms of mental sporting prowess saw Abishan Suthakaran achieve gold in the school’s Maths challenge.
Krish Swaly impressed us all by earning his karate Black Belt (Shodan 1st Dan) in an online grading session. This was the culmination of much hard work he started when he was just four.
On behalf of the boys I would like to thank the Sports Department for keeping us all fit and healthy with their creative and innovative virtual challenges. You all played a vital part in creating a strong and contagious community spirit.
Our term has ended, like the lockdown we have grown accustomed to. I am sure the Oldfield boys have learnt a lot about themselves during this time. I would like to end with a sentence from Rayyan Hasan who in my mind sums up what lockdown has meant: “No matter what the situation is, life is precious, and you should cherish this time by spending time with your loved ones.”
I wish you all the best for next year and enjoy your summer.
Short stories from Oldfield
It was Monday 23rd March. Lockdown had just started. All non-essential shops were shutting immediately and my street was looking very eerie and bizarre.
My first online School day started by watching Mr Jones’s first online podcast. It brightened my day as it felt I was back at school despite that not being true. I enjoyed my Maths, Digital Learning and English followed by RSP via Microsoft Teams, a few glitches though!
I had my first ever School lunch at home.
For the last week of Spring Term, there were no Games lesson just yet, so I found my own way to be active by playing sports in my back garden with my dad.
Finally, at 4.00pm we joined the extremely long queue outside for the supermarket Asda and it was complete chaos. People were panic buying and there wasn’t a lot on the shelves. We took what we could find and (in a socially distant way) managed to deliver the food to my vulnerable Grandparents house, just from the outside.
I then played with my hamster, had my supper and then went to bed ready to start a fresh new lockdown day.
A day in lockdown can be fun or boring at times. In the morning, when you wake up and look out, there is nobody in sight. It is like a ghost town, where nobody is out but when somebody is there, the whole street would stare at them. The reason is the same for all, as lockdown is the time to stay inside, as the virus may choose you, as its next victim.
When you eat your breakfast and read the news, it is about the reason why we are in lockdown. It is the coronavirus from Wuhan, China making people very ill. The number of cases and deaths increase every day and are told on the news with fright, that the virus may choose you, as its next victim.
When you go to School via a call on your laptop, it gives you relief, as your friends are safe and are happy to see them after a very long like down. This reassures you that you aren’t alone and the virus may not choose you, as its next victim.
Once you’re at lunch, you remember the sound that was the chatter of the lunch hall. Now it is so quiet and spooky, that it is like the virus is teasing you that it wants you, as its next victim.
You have finally finished School, hooray! Is this the right thing to say, in this very lonely lockdown? You have now disconnected with your friends and on your own to fend from this virus. The viruses name, coronavirus means crown virus. This king of viruses may not choose you but may choose someone else, but the doubt still continues, and anxiety still continues, but that is where we have a weapon. Mask, gloves, sanitisers and soap are all great things to stop it and gives you the feeling, that the coronavirus may not choose you, as its next victim.
When you are free to do anything you want you may feel lonely due to nobody to talk to, but wait, there is you family with you, who are surviving this too, so share this experience with them. You also could call your friends and family not with you. This can spread happiness and joy and you will forget that the coronavirus may or may not choose you.
Now it is bedtime and feel really relaxed and tired, as finished a day of lockdown. Now you feel even more reassured that you can take on the days ahead, that the virus will not choose you, due to having all you need even in lockdown, which is contact to your family and friends. So, remember you are not alone, till the very last day of this everlasting lockdown.