‘La rentrée’ probably comes in a variety of different forms around the world. For the very youngest it is a step into the unknown, a mixture of apprehension and excitement; for others it may seem a little like slipping back into a familiar routine. It is certainly a time for making new friends and catching up with old ones, a time for making new resolutions about working hard, thinking carefully and writing neatly.
From a Headmaster’s perspective it is about seeing everyone back into school enthusiastic about the year to come. And so it has been this year. Whilst much was the same as last year there was a major difference for me this year – dancing. I don’t dance at the best of times and never before I have danced at the beginning of the School year, so this was a new experience for me, veteran of far too many school year starts for comfort. On Wednesday I joined with Year 6 and Year 13 to take part in the national “La Rentrée en Musique” celebrations. We were joined by our School Patron, The British Ambassador Lord Llewellyn who brought along the fantastically talented vocal group Billet d’Humeur. Indeed, a marvellous way to start a year with a song in the heart and spring (however rhythmically challenged) in the step. If nothing else it reminded me that every school year is a chance to leap out of the ordinary, to challenge ourselves to take on something new and an opportunity to learn from others.
Over the course of the coming academic year I hope that all of our students will commit to learning something new outside of the classroom. School provides myriad opportunities, from community service volunteering to board games by way of sport, music and drama to name but a few. There is an activity for everyone. It is essential that all of our pupils recognise these activities are a vital part of their education. Similarly our young people have the chance to learn from each other. This year we have representatives of over fifty nations in the school, we have the chance to engage with each other to broaden our horizons. I know that they will commit to lessons and study; I would strongly encourage them to embrace the co-curricular programme and learning by being an active member of the community.
Not every day this year will be a dancing day, but I hope to see our students continue this term with lightness of step and willingness to embrace the unexpected and the new as they did on Wednesday morning. Such a mindset allows for education of the most exciting kind.