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  • Nurturing Excellence
  • Headmaster: Gus Lock MA (Oxon)

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Staying Active: Our Community

Staying Active: Our Community

Long nights, cold weather outdoors – even the odd sprinkling of snow.

It would be an understatement to say that our co-curricular programme at Habs has been more important than ever.

Whether it’s jogging round the block, birdwatching from the garden patio, or relaxing with a spot of Yoga, we’ve worked hard this term to keep our boys engaged throughout remote learning.

Three of our Year 7 shared their stories about how they’ve kept active over the Spring term.

Joe & HabsDash

‘It’s good to get exercise outside! Being inside on a screen all day isn’t helpful for anyone.’

This was how Joe chose to introduce HabsDash. A weekly competition in which boys are tasked with running and recording their times, Habsdash has been a staple of our co-curricular offering for the past few years. It’s certainly been a gift for Joe over the past few weeks.

‘I usually swim but changed to running during lockdown. Since the leisure centres and swimming pools are closed, we thought it would be good to go running as a family.’

Joe goes running every week with his father, mother and sister, uploading his personal best time at the end of the session. Getting everybody involved has always been a key part of HabsDash, with Joe saying:

‘When you see your name on the leaderboard, you then look down and see your friends on it too. You might call up a friend, discuss the times and personal bests. Last week my friend Zack did a great PB and I called him up to say “I’m never going to catch you.”

 

Felix & Birdwatching

While Joe has sights on personal bests, Felix has opted for the quieter sport of birdwatching. Heading out onto the local footpaths with his mother, he’s thrown himself into the Big Garden Birdwatch, an event promoted by Mr Coleman and Mr Hardman. After asking for a few tips, Felix suggests:

‘You should do a lot of listening, especially of hedgerows. In the winter the hedgerows don’t lose their leaves, so you’re more likely to hear and see birds at ground level.

Felix has developed this hobby by taking notes of the birds he sees, recording their details in a birdwatching log. Although most of the birds seen are fairly common, he has seen a few redwings, which feed on the holly berries in his garden. Alongside his bird logs, he’s trying to identify birds by song:

‘I’m very much a beginner, but I know the song of the Great Tit, whilst Robins have a really long, bubbling call. Blackbirds are my favourite because they have really quite a long song which isn’t repetitive. They can go on for 45 seconds to one minute at a time!’

 

Yajna & Yoga

Whilst Felix has kept busy out of doors, Yajna has opted to unwind in his living room. Attending the weekly Yoga and Meditation sessions run by Mr. Walters, this club has allowed him to relax throughout the pressures of lockdown. When asked about the benefits of Yoga, Yajna says:

‘It’s more important than ever during this crisis. Some people aren’t getting any exercise! But for yoga, all you need is a small space and yourself. And it makes you feel relaxed if you’re frustrated, since you just need to sit down, think and reflect.

Good advice for us all, Yajna! Emphasising the need to remove distractions, he recommends an ideal place: one that is quiet and uncluttered. Having found the ideal space, Yajna suggests two techniques:

‘The Cobra Stretch is where you put your legs on the floor and heave your chest upwards. As you look upward, you feel all the tension goes away. But the most effective is the small mountain. You put both hands on the floor, one leg in front of the other, and then you hold it for thirty seconds.’

 

Bring the School to You

Perhaps what these clubs and societies demonstrate is the continued willingness of students, staff and school to stay active throughout this challenging period.

Whether it’s beating personal bests, watching Redwings fly past or practising the Cobra stretch, it’s certainly been another busy Spring term at Haberdashers’.

Thank you to all the staff and students involved in contributing to our co-curricular programme – and for making our school such an active community!