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Head’s blog

Open Spaces

This week I have been very busy interviewing international pupils for next year’s entry. I am always curious to hear the answer to my question: what would you like to ask me? Today I was asked to describe what is different about The Mount, Mill Hill International. As I thought about how I would reply (succinctly, as I was sure she did not want to hear me wax lyrical about our pupils), I looked out of the window from my office and replied, “London in the countryside.”

From my office window, I could see three large Jays playing on the Head’s Lawn; earlier that morning I saw a cheeky Muntjac strolling across the field into the shrubs; earlier still, on my walk to school, I heard and then saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker. We are very lucky to be surrounded by countryside; the 120 acre-site that Mill Hill School occupies gives a sense of space, much-needed in an ever-increasing urbanised world. We are lucky, too, that Mill Hill village was designated as part of London’s Green Belt, a ring of countryside where urbanisation is kept to the minimum. It is the tireless work of many enthusiasts, such as the Mill Hill Preservation Society, that ensures the Green Belt area is both protected and preserved. Thus, an aerial view of Mill Hill Village shows we have many more trees than we do buildings.

Not only do the open spaces have an impact on our quality of air (and life), but the sense of space can give us quiet calm – something we cannot take for granted.