Tag lines, brands and other marketing devices are not always associated with schools and yet we have our own versions of them. We may lack the flashy indulgence of “because you’re worth it” or indeed the directness of “just do it”, but we have our own forms of words as a school which give a clear sense of our purpose. Validus, Corpore, Animoque may not trip of the tongue but what these words mean may well stand the test of time more effectively than “I’m lovin’ it”.
The School adopted Strength in Body and Mind in the 1960s as its motto and it is a fine sentiment for a place of learning which seeks to stretch pupils both academically and socially. Over the last three years I have questioned whether we live our motto; to great extent we do. But a motto will not, by itself, drive school forward. When we consider what makes us the school we are we need to consider our values as an organisation, what it is we stand for as a learning community.
Looking once again at our crest we are given graphic expression of our values as a school. At the top of the crest is the victor’s crown, a symbol of excellence and with it integrity; for what is victory without a sense of honesty? The two supporting lions bring to mind the values of determination and endeavour, qualities that see us recognise achievement and the will to strive when times are tough.
The galleon, symbol of our host city, reminds us that we seek to learn with a spirit of discovery and that we appreciate the opportunity of learning within our vibrant community, in this great country and beyond. The fleur-de-lys points us in the direction of both community and service, concepts from which we learn and benefit.
As a school we consider these values when thinking about our future direction. It is possible to see the discussion of values as being a bit worthy, somewhat earnest and well, boring. I make no apology. I think it vital that our young people understand the meaning of the crest that they wear each day. It isn’t a crocodile, or a polo player, nor a stylised seagull. Our brand is not a matter of marketing savvy; it is an embodiment of our values and an indication of our purpose. In many advertisements there is a focus on good value; we as a school are at our best when we are mindful of our values. A quick look at this week’s newsletter will reassure all who care to look, that our school values infuse all aspects of school life from laboratory to rehearsal room, from classroom to sports field. And, dare I say, “I’m lovin’ it”.
Mr Nicholas Hammond