As a firm believer in the benefits of school uniform I avoid encouraging individuals to wear their uniform in anything other than the orthodox manner. So standing at the gate this morning seeing pupils coming in wearing a top half uniform and a lower half in jeans was an uncomfortable experience. In the normal course of events this approach to bending the rules would be seen by me as the first step towards anarchy. However, it seems that we are not facing a student revolution but an expression of our pupils’ approach to helping others. Jeans for Genes is a worthy cause indeed and our young people deserve to be congratulated on the way that they have embraced such a good cause by having fun.
Over the course of the coming weeks there will be other charity days. We carefully endeavour to support local, national and international charities. Our pupils have the opportunity to nominate causes to support through the Student Councils. Older students are able to engage in a wide variety of service projects and I believe that they gain much in doing so. One of our duties as a school is to develop the leaders of the future. Many of our young people will go on to lead in whichever community they decide to live. Some will be politicians, others diplomats. We will have captains of industry and educational trailblazers. Some will lead in the business community or will take their talents to improve areas of the world where development is needed. All of this is a long way from wearing jeans instead of your school uniform. That said I believe that the seeds of a life of service are sown best at school. Good habits need to be established early in life if they are to remain. We are conscious that beyond our school gates life for many can be challenging and tough. We enjoy opportunities here that few in the world can match. We are therefore right to consider others and to share our talents. A commitment to service is vital if a fulfilling life is to be lived.
The idea of modelling is en vogue in the educational world. The theory is simple. If adults do something then children copy. Hardly ground breaking but a difficult one to live up to. The BSPS has donated hundreds of hours to running events enjoyed by the wider school community. In doing so they have raised enough money to pay (in large part) for a school in Cambodia where previously there had not been one. Along the way I am sure that they have had some fun, but it has also been hard work. They provided our bar on Saturday and will have raised still more for excellent causes and that is a pretty good model to follow.
So I’ll swallow my uniform reservations once a year. If you provided a cake then thank you and if you have to find yet another Euro for some good cause in the coming months, remember that you are not only making a valuable contribution to help another person, but you will be giving your own child a greater understanding of the world around them.
Your support is appreciated.
Mr Nicholas Hammond