Happy New Year to you! I do hope that you had happy family times over this Christmas holiday and that not too many of you were struck down by the dreadful flu going around. I have spoken to many children whose families were and I do hope that 2018 restores you to full health as soon as possible.
I used as my inspiration for thinking about the new year a slice of tree from my garden. Having studied the rings and seen that the growth came through good and bad years I explored this idea with children in Prep and Pre-prep to get an understanding of how growth isn’t always a positive experience and it isn’t always easy.
Nevertheless equipping children with a perspective that embraces challenge and difficulty does lie at the heart of enabling them to be well and happy.
Thursday this week had particular contrasts for me which summed up the richness of the experience that pupils at St Michael’s get.
As we looked out through the mists in chapel on Thursday we were invited to think about things we might not have done so well to ask forgiveness and to set ourselves on the road for next week with new resolve.
The service of communion which we enjoy each week not only takes us through the liturgical journey of the year but also is a weekly reference point for reflection and this time to reflect, I believe again makes a strong contribution to a sense of direction.
Later that day the Year 6 set off for London to watch the show “School of Rock”. Whilst the storyline of an imposter teacher getting away with setting up a rock band in a Prep school might have had the safeguarding authorities on high alert, the real message of the show is that children’s talents know no bounds and that as adults we must find them, nurture them, and give them opportunities to be showcased. The voice of Andrew Lloyd Webber at the beginning of the show confirmed that what we were about to see was live performance from some exceptional children and they were exceptional. There was an added charm in the exploration of some fractured relationships within families where their children’s talents had not been noticed and would not have been noticed had it not been for the rogue teacher.
Everyone at the show realised that we had seen some fantastic talents and the story itself could not have failed to move.
We were slightly in awe of what they could do. And yet I know I have witnessed similar moments of extraordinary talent at St Michael’s and I’m convinced that later this term when we watch the “Lord of the Flies” production, which will be intense and sophisticated, that we will perhaps be moved in the same way.
You will note that one of our school development plan areas is to expand provision at St Michael’s and today you’ll be receiving an invitation with more details about our plans and we invite you to come and discuss these with us so do watch out for that letter.
I wish you all a very pleasant weekend and look forward to seeing many of you over the next few weeks.