17 Jun 2016

Anne Everest - Head's Blog - 17-06

Anne Everest 250wThere is a great deal going on in the world.  Our girls are aware of newspaper headlines, an imminent referendum, and violence at every level of society both at home and abroad.  As they get older, they are encouraged to know more about this world, to be ready to take an active part in it as citizens, and to lead or support change for the good, when they can.  They will not all be trail-blazers, but they will all be encouraged to become adults who care about others and have respect for the beliefs of others.

However, as children, they also need some protection from the horrors outside.  The pattern of school life, with its somewhat predicable annual events and its daily routines, can be a great support to young people (and to adults) who struggle to make sense of the random acts of violence they can see on the news every day.  We all know that work can be a great comfort.  If the work of learning is enjoyable too, it does more than comfort: it can feed the spirit as well as the mind.  The act of learning – which does not need to be confined to the young - should enhance the lives of us all.

As we move towards the end of term, and the end of examination diets for our older girls, there is a tendency to breathe a sigh of relief – before starting it all again.  And there is something about those annual markers at the end of the school year which evokes nostalgia and optimism in equal measure.  Sports Days, concerts and the much anticipated Lower School show, Into the Woods, will stay in the memories of our young people for a lifetime as they reflect on the pleasures of working on a common endeavour.  Other events are milestones: Moving On Day, Farewells, Break-up Assemblies, Speech Night.

At St George’s every Upper 6 leaver, whatever her achievements, crosses the stage at Speech Night; each is recognised equally and each may invite family and friends to witness the transition from school girl to adult.  If we have done our job well, each girl also leaves us confident about growing and coping in an increasingly complex world.

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Anne C Everest
Head. St George's School for Girls

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