It is hard for all of us now to focus on anything other than the ‘here and now’, so intense is our preoccupation with the daily news and how that affects our working and family lives. Whereas in the spring, the weather was beautiful and there was a real sense that together we could make sacrifices to defeat the virus, we now find ourselves filled with uncertainty over where our world is heading. Therefore, it is important for our young people to know that these troubled times will pass and that we have faith in a brighter future.
At school-level, we want to do our best to ensure the safe operation of our community and the happy progress of students, whilst being sensitive to their current anxieties. We want our students to feel happy and safe. Yet we also continue to plan ahead, with our eyes on the end-goal: to provide the best possible preparation in life for our students. Moreover, because life is ever-changing, a good school will forever be considering how it might do things slightly differently or better – hence the importance of our School Development Plan, Department Developments Plans, Covid Recovery Plans, Catch Up Premium Timetables, and our move to Blended Learning and Remote Learning.
We know, however, that happiness is not guaranteed and that none of us can claim to be happy every day of our lives. Life comes with its vicissitudes, and we do our best as teachers and parents to prepare our children for inevitable challenges, whilst also supporting them when things do not go to plan. Above all, we want them to feel fulfilled: content with their lot in life, believing in themselves and knowing that their contribution is both valuable and valued. True fulfilment runs much deeper than happiness.
I am generally a positive person and I have heard it said that ‘relentless optimism’ has been a much-needed quality for headmasters over the last few months! I think we probably all need a dose of that now as we wonder where our world is heading. So, as we look to our children and to the rays of sunshine they bring us even on colder and wetter days, we continue positively and resolutely on, in the hope and confidence that better days lie ahead.