| Head's Blog

As a school we continue to think carefully about what we stand for. It was a question which I posed the Leadership Team at the start of the term. The values we came up with were the following: kindness, curiosity, aspiration, empathy, inclusivity and compassion. And while I know that mission statements and such ilk might be dismissed rather pejoratively as the work of ‘mind-set gurus’ and ‘management speak analysts’ I do think that if you live out your values in everyday life then remarkable things can happen.

Thinking on this the other day I was reminded of a poem by the American humourist and journalist Erma Bombeck. I thought this was relevant and she says this:

“I see children like kites - you spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground. You run with them until you are breathless - they crash, they hit the rooftop, you patch and comfort, adjust and teach. You watch them lifted by the wind and assure them that someday they will fly. Finally, they are airborne. They need a bit more string and you keep letting it out. But with each twist of the ball of twine, there is a sadness that goes with the joy…and you know it won’t be long before this beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you together, and will soar, free and alone.

Only then will you know that you did your job.”

Well actually, I don’t quite I agree with her. As a parent I would hope that the tie with one’s children never quite breaks - that there is always a sense of home and a sense of belonging- always a place of refuge in times of trouble - a thread perhaps, but a strong thread.

I think that’s why the ties of one’s schooling are often there too for many – maybe extremely thin, but they should never quite snap. Yes, we might never physically return, yes we might lose old friends, but a good school which is based on strong values enters our soul, provides us with the formative lessons and experiences that never quite leave us. We should always retain affection and a memory. That’s why teaching is such a noble profession – building the values of each successive generation in partnership with parents.

In an uncertain world it is reassuring that some things are constant. The rhythm of the school year is an anchor against unpredictability and confidence in knowing that we keep moving forward.

we end the summer term, we can celebrate that this year was an uninterrupted year. Sports matches, drama productions and concerts were all back in the calendar and this year has been an incredibly busy one for all the right reasons. So much wonderful work happens in the classrooms where the children are challenged and inspired but so much education occurs outside where those all-important ‘soft skills’ are developed. We are fortunate to work and learn in a school environment that is filled with energy, kindness, support, compassion and good-humour. Thank you all for being part of that community.

We are fortunate to work and learn in a school environment that is filled with energy, kindness, support, compassion and good-humour. Thank you all for being part of that community.

Good luck to all our pupils who are leaving Sherborne House today as they step forward to meet the next chapter of their lives. And remember that our doors will always be open to your sons and daughters and to you, as parents.

The author Robert Colville wrote that, “Where our grandfathers sauntered and our fathers strode, we now find ourselves scampering.” As the summer holidays approach, we must learn when and how to slow down. As we catch our breath after a year of success and intensity I hope there is still a place in all our lives for taking things slowly.

I wish you all a very happy and restful summer break.

Mark Beach