“Never believe that a few caring people…”

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

Margaret Mead

This time twelve months ago we were looking somewhat fretfully at what was going to happen next and the daffodils had just appeared in the student garden in front of the Lighthouse Building. I did not anticipate the scale or scope of the pandemic. Naively, I predicted last March that we’d be back to normal by September. That prediction may turn out to be correct, but I’d got the wrong September. So, you heard it here first, we’ll be back to normal in September 2021. Possibly.

On reflection I am not entirely sure that I really want to go back to where we were in March 2020 in the days BP (Before Pandemic). Much has changed as a consequence of this international emergency, some of it for the better. I’ve written before of the idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder – we’ve missed many activities and when normal service is resumed, I hope that all pupils will make the most of what is on offer here. From orchestra to chess, from football to investors club there is something to excite the interest of everyone. We have seen the importance of fruitful human interaction when it has been denied to us and I hope that we all continue to harness the spirit of working together to achieve great things. It would be encouraging for humanity to think that we will take our responsibility to all that is around us more seriously and simply avoid slipping back into what we did, and how we did it BP.

This week the Senior School marked International Women’s Day with an assembly. Follow up work has also been done regarding a production intended to stimulate debate and thought. As a co-educational school I really do hope that we allow our young people the space to consider a huge range of possible avenues of both study and future employment and we move beyond rigid or proscribed views of who should do what. Post pandemic there may even be a reassessment of the way that certain professions and occupations are viewed and rewarded. Only time will tell.

Debate still continues in the UK around the question of exams and their most effective form. This week the Interim Chief Regulator of OFQUAL, Simon Rebus has given an indication that there are likely to be amendments to the way that exams are sat in summer 2022 as a consequence of the events of this last year. Change it seems will occur. It would be good if we were given the new assessment materials for this season’s mini-assessments, our pupil are rightly keen to show their worth. Being able to allay worries would be good before skipping ahead to next year.

There are clear signs of change as a consequence of the last twelve months, exciting debate has been stimulated and new ideas are emerging. Just to make sure that some things stay the same, I made my way over to the Lighthouse building just to check that the daffodils are out once more. They are. Whilst change is necessary, in some cases vital it is also very good to have the reassurance of things being well, a little bit back to normal.

Nicholas Hammond