In November we enter review and reflection season. Last week drew to a close with a whizz and a bang and I’m grateful to the estates, the catering, and the staff teams for their support in putting on and clearing away such a splendid fireworks evening.
Thanks too to the Year 8 parent reps who managed the “funky stuff” stall for the evening and sold the glow sticks, sweets and drinks for the enjoyment of all and to raise funds for the Year 8 Jersey tour and leavers’ programme.
At the end of this week we have had the school gather together to pay our respects to those who lost their lives and were injured in two World Wars and subsequent conflicts, that have been fought to establish the peace which we enjoy. Corporate silence, reflection and engagement in remembrance is a core part of being fully human. It’s sometimes difficult for children and adults to know how to feel when standing to commemorate lives lost and changed in these terrible ways. What I ask children to do when they close their eyes in the two minutes’ silence is to think about the things they are grateful for and then say thank you to people they don’t know and will never meet who fought and struggled or live with injury in order that our lives should be peaceful and full of delights today.
Review and reflection also helps children to find new directions and new purpose in their term of work. This is the time when parents and teachers get together to feedback and galvanise new actions for the future. Although it is a form of academic “speed dating”, I hope that the five minutes spent together talking about your children has been useful and productive.
Next week is anti-bullying week nationally and we will be exploring with Prep school children what constitutes bullying, how to diffuse a situation where verbal attacks are being made and to understand that everyone is different but equal.
Of course every day and every week we work together to prevent bullying at school, but in such a week when we heighten awareness and focus on reminding all children of behavioural expectations, we also teach them that kindness breeds kindness. Perhaps the most suitable lesson from both remembrance and anti-bullying is the same.
If you join with others this weekend to stand and pay your respects to the fallen, I hope you draw comfort from being with others to express this very important, shared gratitude.