Outside lessons, pupils need the chance to unwind, but leisure should not be about simply about doing nothing. As the philosopher Josef Pieper has taught us, leisure – in the sense of a space for contemplation – is the very basis of culture. In the Book of Genesis we learn of God’s rest on the seventh day. It is from this that we take our philosophy of leisure. The Creator looked at what He had made and saw that it was good. In the same way our leisure time will not be a question of a total break with the rest of the life of the school; it will enable to us to enjoy other areas of the timetable more, by giving us time to reflect and take a look at the bigger picture, without having to worry about exams or deadlines.
So far, we have come up with a number of interesting activities: chess; card games; a polyglots’ club for those who enjoy learning new languages; a fishing club; literary club; occasional hunt-following and beagling; chamber music groups and bands; drama club; public speaking; computers; boxing fitness (and sparring); model-making; war-gaming; guitar club.
The development of this aspect of College life gives scope to the students to develop their own particular interests together with members of the teaching staff. At Chavagnes a particular effort is made to avoid clashes between the Choir and sporting activities, so as to avoid forcing students to make a choice between being musicians or sportsmen.