“Hope is being able to see…”

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”

Desmond Tutu

Schools all around the world make statements about what it is they stand for and they often accompany these statements with explanations of how they go about achieving their goals. What is less often asked is what schools stand for when they are placed in a wider context, in the context of society. For me it is simple, schools are a symbol of hope. A school in whatever form is a sign of a society that chooses to invest in its future. A sign that it is ready to create young people who understand what they see around them and, hopefully, are able to make the right decisions about what the future may look like. Our pupils are the decision makers and leaders of the future. They will be faced with the challenge of cleaning up the mess being created right now.

At the BSP I’m filled with hope when I see young people from a wide variety of backgrounds working and playing together. I’m even more hopeful when I see them learning together, when they are seeking to understand each other, when they not only learn together but learn from each other.

In recent days hope has been in rather short supply. The world around us is a place where despair, anxiety, anger and concern are more often experienced or reported. Some in our community are directly affected. But among all this there is hope. In the last few days our community has responded to the appeal for humanitarian aid in a staggering fashion and the rapid organisation of this collection by Mrs Kopczynska and Mr Bates is a very real symbol of our investment in hope as a community. These donations turn hope into practical assistance. We have joined with a wider effort to ensure that those in need will be looked after, that those who face strife will be provided with shelter, the shivering will find warmth and those who feel that they are ignored are being seen. The response from this community to the plight of displaced persons has been inspiring. Thank you to the many hands that have sought to support this project. Hope vanishes when we stop seeing there being a point in investing in the future. We have made a small investment and who knows how much more will be required in the coming weeks. We are indebted to the Polish community who will ship our donations to the border tomorrow.

On a different note as we move to a less restricted COVID regime and with the first signs of spring pointing to the coming summer so we edge slowly back to normality.
We are once again starting to enjoy the opportunity to play sports, to meet and even perform – yes this year’s Senior School show, Legally Blonde, a production not to be missed, premieres this coming week so please do secure your places by clicking the link on page 3.

Whilst I fear that we may need to provide further support for those affected by conflict and I’m realistic enough to think that there may well be additional COVID hurdles to overcome, the announcements of this week suggest that our future and that of the world may be a hopeful one. As long as schools and their communities continue to invest in the future then the world at large has every reason to remain hopeful that better times may lie ahead.

Nicholas Hammond