Headmaster’s Blog 12.11.21

Our weekly assembly has just taken place and as is customary we have had an act of remembrance. The brass band accompanied the hymn, trumpeters sounded the last post and reveille, and a Sixth Form organist played us out. Given the Hinde St church setting, and the occasion, our talented musicians have contributed to a fittingly reflective end to the week.

As a school that has been more recently founded than many, we do not have a war memorial to lay wreaths at or past pupils who have fought in previous conflicts. However, I do not believe this diminishes the importance of taking time to pause and reflect on the human cost of wars past, and current conflicts. In my brief address to the school, I spoke about the history and representative significance of the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. This powerful representation of the lives of many distilled into a single point of focus seems to me to be an appropriate image and idea to focus on in a moment of meditative silence. Prior to the silence, I read the poem ‘The Bed’ by Simon Armitage. He composed it to mark the 100 year anniversary of the burial of the warrior. It is a moving piece to read, and you can do so here if you wish. As a school with pupils that hail from a diverse range of international backgrounds it is important that we have considered the initial establishment of the Remembrance Day and associated traditions, but also that we acknowledge as a community the much wider and continuing human cost that is wrought by conflicts across the globe.

In my own time, one thing that I very much enjoy is to support an older member of my local community who does at times get lonely. I try to see him now and again and we occasionally text one another. This week, he was in touch with me this week to ask (of all things) about a crossword clue, reminding me of the importance of remembering those around us when we remember past lives. Staying in touch with friends and family members and those more vulnerable members of our communities is a valuable and practical way that we can have a positive impact on people.

With best wishes for the weekend.

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