Focus on Education October 2021 No. 1

You may have read recently about the findings from the largest ever survey of children and young people anywhere in the world: The Big Ask. Over half a million 4-17-year-olds in England responded in the spring to a series of questions about all aspects of their lives and about their aspirations for the future:

Even if you do not read the entire report, the foreword by Dame Rachel de Souza, the Children’s Commissioner, is quite inspiring and uplifting. We have all faced challenges over the last 20 or so months, and children have for the first time in their lives discovered that the adults to whom they are accustomed to look for reassurance cannot answer all of their questions. They have needed to make their own sense of the situation, and they have proved to be incredibly adaptable and resilient. I have been so impressed by their response, and Dame de Souza calls them a “heroic generation of children…with a common voice…They have endured and are emerging stronger and prematurely wise. Bruised, yes, and in many cases seriously vulnerable, but for the most part, happy, optimistic, and determined…They are a survivor generation – a sleeves-up, pragmatic generation, with civic-minded aspirations…. They believe in family – families of all kinds. Simply, they want happy homes…. They want to be healthy, mentally and physically…. They want to be in open spaces, and play…They want safe online spaces…. They want activities, sport…. They want community…. They like school.”

Good mental health and a better, fairer world where we care for our environment are key priorities. Our children are keen to do tough, worthwhile jobs and to have fulfilling careers – and we have to help them to take control of their destinies and to realise their dreams.

We are ever grateful to you for entrusting your children to us in the most formative years of their lives. You have often made sacrifices to provide them with a Grammar school education and we value your support and your partnership. Our students have continued to make very good progress throughout the pandemic, and we want them to thrive, despite the challenges. We also encourage them to think deeply about their world, to emerge as ambitious and considerate servant-leaders who will consider the needs of others before themselves whilst living fulfilling lives and making a positive and lasting difference to our society. I hope they continue to remember and uphold our values of HGS Cares whilst being a Force for Good.

Stay well and safe.

Be kind to yourself and others.

Best wishes,

Dr Bird