Spring Service & College Day
This year saw a new addition to the NCS ritual year: our very first ‘Spring Service’.
This service included readings from Year 3 to Year 8, music from all of our choirs, and congregational singing, all centred around the theme of Spring. The idea behind it was to bring the end of Hilary to a close in a similar way that we end Michaelmas: with the boys getting the chance to perform publicly again and for us all to come together as a community in one of the most stunning buildings in the country. The readings that were selected, ranging from Paul Laurence Dunbar to Amy Lowell, hopefully evoked the optimism of the season with some gorgeous descriptions of the natural world as we edged out of Winter.
The remainder of 22 March was our annual College Day. This is a day when, with the undergraduates safely out of the way after the end of university term, the boys get to ‘take over’ (in a benign sense) New College. We are, of course, extraordinarily lucky to enjoy such a close relationship with the College and for the boys to be able to enjoy some of its really rather special resources. Year 8 got to see some of the archive treasures, for example, before climbing the tower to gain some spectacular views over the city. Other year groups got to do some stone rubbing, take part in a College-based treasure hunt, listen to a demonstration of the organ, draw the chapel’s misericords, take part in a philosophy workshop, enjoy storytime in the ‘Red Room’, and learn about the ‘heroes and villains’ in the chapel. Some year groups also got to enjoy some of Oxford’s treasures on College’s doorstep, taking in exhibitions at the Ashmolean and going on a walking tour to learn about the school’s long and varied history in different locations in central Oxford. All of the boys got to enjoy lunch in the College dining hall, which was a real highlight for many.