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Headmaster's Blog - Friday 13th October

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB”

If you are like me, then you will have always wondered what the last line of this verse is. For most of my childhood, I was fairly sure that Aretha Franklin was urging us to “take out the TCP”, perhaps as a result of an injury caused through disrespect. Now, we are all just wondering what “TCB” actually means: Taking Care of Business, of course…

On Monday, Years 1 to 6 took part in a circle time assembly looking at the third ingredient of a happy community. In small groups, they discussed what respect looked like and where it was shown at Sedbergh Prep. We then went off at a tangent and asked ourselves whether we have to earn respect or whether we are all entitled to it.

Like all the best ones, that’s quite a difficult question.

On one hand, the children were quite right to point out that we should treat others as we would have them treat us in return. Also, that one good turn deserves another. However, I am less comfortable with the notion that ‘what goes around comes around’, particularly in a school environment where mistakes can, and do, happen.

As a staffroom, we have recently re-written our Behaviour Policy which is centered around three rights that are for every member of the School: to be safe; to learn; to be treated with respect. I would argue that these cover pretty much every eventuality.

There is a sense of history and pride in our heritage at Sedbergh that I have not come across before in a prep school. Respect for others and their belongings, respect for the School, and respect for oneself are fundamental to our ethos and culture and are an enduring strength of the community.

Today marked the first meeting of the Year 8s that successfully applied for a position of responsibility and my first opportunity to explain the new system that is now in place. In short, these young men and women will act as the conduit for the ‘pupil voice’ of Sedbergh Prep. Through the School Council and its sub-committees (Operations, Environment and Charity), they will gather together ideas and initiatives, propose and manage change and provide feedback and communication. These are tremendously important jobs and I am delighted with the team that have put themselves forward through their excellent letters of application. Those that have chosen to hold fire at the moment will have the chance to apply in the next two terms. It is now largely over to the team and I have no doubt that their energy and drive will make a success of our new structure.

Tomorrow is the first chance for the Cressbrook Choir to perform to an audience and there is no better venue than the Chapel and no bigger crowd than the entire Senior School at their morning assembly. It’s a shame we aren’t singing Aretha Franklin: I know the words now.

Have a great weekend.

Will

Posted in: Headmaster's Blog

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