I love this time of year; the decorations, the festive food, the celebrations and the singing! The latter, I have to confess, is my favourite. Belting out a Christmas carol, particularly when accompanied by a full orchestra, as we were at our Senior School concert earlier this week, is so good for the soul. It has been wonderful to bring singing back to the school after the two years of the pandemic. From the rousing version of Sweet Caroline in honour of the Lionesses’ win in our first whole school assembly of the year, the poignant rendition of of I vow to thee my country for the Queen’s commemorative assembly, to the very enthusiastic house singing this week, and our final coming together in the church services on the last day of term. I have enjoyed every opportunity to sing as a community. I have really missed singing, how it feels when we all sing together; the collective rhythm and energy is a feeling you can’t beat.
It has been a long and busy term, where the students have achieved great things. I have been blown away by the depth of talent from our wonderful concerts to our first fantastic drama performance of the year, the joint production of Bugsy Malone: The Musical with Bedford School. There have also been amazing sporting successes, academic achievements and exceptional service through commitment to our outreach programmes with local primary schools. The students have been phenomenally busy, but thanks must also go to our outstanding staff, who give so much to make all of this possible. I am honoured to lead a team of such dedicated and caring colleagues who are so committed to our students in their studies, their co-curricular pursuits and their well-being.
When we were living through the pandemic, the focus of my messages to the students was about how we were living through an important moment in history, and that though it was tough, it would not last forever. I know that we are still living in difficult times, the prospect of ongoing economic instability, the rise in the cost of living and the war in Ukraine adds a sense of uncertainty for many of us. I trust that once again we will continue to pull together as a community and focus on being empathic and kind to one another. And what an apt message that is at this time of year, when we often come together as families and the adage of peace and love is at the forefront of our minds. As the US President Calvin Coolidge said “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
And on that note, may I wish you all a wonderful holiday; make sure you rest (even if you are studying for mock examinations), enjoy time with your family and Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it.