When I looked in the mirror yesterday and saw my pale face and periorbital puffiness, I did wonder what had possessed us to book a whole school photograph on this, the penultimate day of term. The stakes were high: we had scheduled just 40 minutes to capture a community of nearly 500 people; a day earlier, it would have been a wash-out.

Enter a four-man team from Tempest Photography, who brought with them ruthless efficiency, a couple of megaphones and (crucially) the sunshine. 

We were all set. 

Seeing those guys in action reminded me of the words of the great photographer Ansel Adams, who said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”. It was a joy to behold. 

In a school, it is not often we get to see plans being followed with such military precision; our days are full of curveballs and complications. No so for the Tempest team: from the youngest pupils in Reception to our seasoned Sixth Formers, every student and staff member came together like a giant green and black Tetris puzzle. Pip was there, of course, sitting dutifully on Mrs Comerford’s lap; blazers that had been missing for weeks miraculously appeared; shirts were tucked in; and smiles beamed out.

Despite my initial reservations about the timing, a whole school photograph turned out to be the perfect way to end the Spring Term – a celebration of our wonderful community and a reminder of how, together, we will always be greater than the sum of our parts.