The words ‘socialise’ and ‘collaborative’ seem to fit into last year’s vocabulary rather than today’s everyday conversation. From connected desks and ‘Dells’ visits to hand sanitiser and face masks, the world is changing daily and Bradfield’s changing with it; new rules and a new lifestyle.

If there is ever a time that you can see the spirit of Bradfield, I think it’s right now.

As one pupil puts it, there is hope for current and future Bradfieldians.

After months of not being able to spend time with others during this global pandemic Bradfield has done its utmost to cope with it all while trying to bring pupils together again and giving us hope. From online concerts and Horizons panels via Teams to a virtual Debating Society, the Bradfield community is doing all it can to make us feel as if we’re living in a Coronavirus-free world again. As pupils we have been encouraged to get involved as much as we can as they’re aiming to keep us as busy as possible; a distraction, perhaps, but maybe there is more to it.

Whether it be a new Faulkner’s pupil who has enjoyed just a single term at Bradfield or an Upper Sixth member who has spent their last four years leading up to their last and forging their final memories of school and education, the pandemic has affected each and every one of us. No House Dinners, no Michaelmas Goose, which is a memorable time for any Bradfieldian, and the possibility of no external exams in the Summer. Our very popular ‘Dells’ seems isolated and quieter now without any laughter or chatter filling the room. Before it provided a popular distraction for pupils to escape the working environment to a sociable and friendly one. However, times like these are the ones we will remember the most.

As I forge my final memories of Bradfield, I would encourage future Bradfieldians not to take socialising and collaborating for granted.

Collaborative academic spaces have proved crucial as Year Group bubbles continue to collaborate on academic projects. The Library has become one space where we are able to see those in our Year Group, at a distance of course, outside of our boarding houses and can socialise and collaborate while there: a true working and sociable environment. Other working spaces such as the outer room at the top of the Quad classrooms and the study room at the top of the Science Centre provided useful and sociable environments for academic group work to take place.

The Dining Hall is also a very sociable environment at Bradfield. A place, prior to the pandemic, where pupils could meet up with a friend from another boarding house or another year group and have a meal together. A place which we all look forward to reuniting in once more. Now, the Dining Hall has changed, with tables pushed together to provide an environment where Year Group bubbles from each House can benefit positively by becoming much closer with one another over the last few months, in spirit if not physically. I believe this has helped the Bradfield community grow and become tighter.

We are all very much looking forward to returning to a normal Bradfield when that day comes. As I forge my final memories of Bradfield, I would encourage future Bradfieldians not to take socialising and collaborating for granted. These are what has made my Bradfield experience a remarkable and memorable one.