September marks the start of a new school year made uniquely challenging on this occasion by the pandemic. Meanwhile the Foundation forges on and plans are underway to launch a new Krishnamurti Centre website and to reopen the Centre in October.
Brockwood Park School
Students had to return home in March, due to the pandemic, and classes moved online, but a team of staff have worked throughout the summer training, meeting and preparing the school for a COVID-Safe year. We have built a COVID-Safe Plan and slowly grown our Brockwood Residential Bubble with groups of staff, mature students, teacher apprentices arriving and then going through quarantine to join. From 17th August, we were delighted to welcome back the first of 26 students that are quarantining before the year begins. They have settled well and have formed a very supportive and friendly community in the school cloisters as well as being entertained by open-air movie nights, Bingo, amateur dramatics and, of course, the Champions League final. We’ve also run two online parent consultation sessions to share our plans for the year and to listen to questions and ideas from the families of our students. These were very useful for all involved and have helped clarify our priorities as we prepare for the start of the year.
We are now all hands to the pump as we put the final touches to a very different start to the academic year, but we’re excited by the new learning that this unique situation allows for.
Inwoods Small School
Inwoods is due to reopen on the 3rd of September, having gone through a significant process of restructuring. We are opening as a single class for Key Stage 1 offering a mixed class of Years 1 and 2. Antonio Autor, the Principal of Brockwood, will oversee the school, supported by Kate Power as School Coordinator. Kate is currently a residential staff member at Brockwood Park School, where she teaches History A-level. Her role will be to support the daily running of Inwoods and she will also be involved in creating a strong working relationship between Brockwood and Inwoods. We are excited to have two teachers holding the learning space, both with different educational backgrounds and experiences: Alejandra Araiza Calahorra is from Mexico and is a Montessori trained teacher in Early Years and Abi Carter is a qualified primary teacher from the UK and has taught both in England and abroad for the last 5 years. Together, they are looking to create a caring and inquisitive learning environment, with a close connection to the nature that surrounds the school. All involved are excited to be a part in this new chapter of Inwoods history.
The Krishnamurti Centre
Due to the situation with Covid, the Centre will not reopen until the end of October. The risk assessment done with respect to the impact of the virus on the life of the Brockwood community, and opening the schools, means that we are obliged to take more time to ensure that we have a safe and stable environment before reopening the Centre. At this stage we cannot have outside guests visiting Brockwood Park, but we hope by the end of October arrangements will be in place to satisfactorily isolate the schools from the Centre and the latter can reopen. In the meantime, a great deal of attention has been given to the maintenance of the Centre and catching up with important work which was not possible while the Centre was open. In addition, we have been working on creating a new Centre website and this will soon be launched to help introduce a wider audience to this extraordinary place.
The Krishnamurti Foundation
Having implemented safe working practices from the outset, the Foundation work has continued throughout the pandemic. The focus has been on disseminating the Teachings via online platforms and channels, as it appears more people are receptive to Krishnamurti’s message to humanity faced with the current crisis. Time and thought is being given to reaching people who are new to the Teachings and curating appropriate content, taking into account contemporary issues such as loneliness, hurt and meditation.