“The value of life…”

“The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use that we make of them… whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will.”

Michel de Montaigne

Time is always tight in these last few weeks before the end of term. There are rehearsals for concerts, talent show auditions, sports fixtures and plenty of other activities. Often regarded as the most wonderful time of the year, it is undoubtedly one of the busiest times. Tomorrow is a red letter (or perhaps red and green letter) day in our calendar. This year’s Christmas Fair is back to its joyful, Christmassy best and it promises to be a splendid way to kick off your festive merrymaking (and seasonal shopping). The BSPS have been working hard to ensure that this much-loved event returns in style. I do hope that you can join us. It is a great way to start your celebrations.

As this newsletter evidences, we try, as far as we can to let people know what we are doing and celebrate our community’s achievements. That said schools are sometimes places where good things happen that go unreported. Last weekend I had the good fortune to take a moment to sit down and listen to a radio programme. As a child of a pre-internet age, I’m still an ardent radio listener but I find it ever more difficult to simply sit still and listen to a programme as there is generally some form of distraction. ‘The Poetry Detective’ is a programme on BBC Radio 4, this episode told the story of poetry that have been carved on rocks near John O’Groats in the far North of Scotland. I won’t spoil the story by giving too much away but it was clear to the person who had discovered these lost words that this was a project not done for all to see but was being done for its own sake. It is a great story, if you can find a moment to listen, I recommend it, click here. In the coming days there will be plenty of opportunities for both sparkling and shining – stages are set, and the orchestra is tuning up. The magic of this time of year is well and truly upon us and as part of our celebrations I will be asking pupils to tell me if there are accomplishments that have given them particular satisfaction over the past twelve months. I’m interested in those performances that have not been recognised in a formal sense but have provided personal satisfaction. This isn’t an exercise in pride but more one of recognition, one in which growth of character is celebrated. Our young people face a world in which there are many challenges to be met and they will only do so successfully if they recognise in themselves the power that they hold to make our planet a better place. That is not something that you find under a tree wrapped up and delivered seemingly by magic, but within oneself and sometimes at a price. These possibly small triumphs may never make it into the newsletter but are no less worthy of our acknowledgement. There is satisfaction in the recognition of something that is done well, even if it isn’t going to be seen by everyone else.

Nicholas Hammond