Although I have been away for some of the week, it was wonderful to return to a school that is feeling distinctly Christmassy and I am excited about my first Sedbergh Prep Christmas Fayre tomorrow. I trust that many of you will come and visit the Headmaster's Stall... I know that lots of you have been working hard, making wreaths through the day, setting up Santa's Grotto and the rest of the hall, and my thanks to you all again for being so generous with your time.
There will be all sorts of stalls tomorrow, from external teams, to games and cake sales. It is the mix of different types that ensures that everyone will have fun. In a week where I have been in Spain and where Lord Inglewood came to speak to us about Brexit, it seems fitting to offer a couple of thoughts on diversity.
Richard delivered a thought-provoking and insightful lecture on the context and political machinations behind Brexit. Beginning with the frank admission that he had absolutely no idea what would happen next (!), he spoke with experience and at just the right level to challenge the children. It was reassuring to see so many youngsters, both from the UK and overseas, interested and engaged with the politics that will affect their generation.
I have said in previous articles how schools are built from relationships and in a tightly-knit community such as ours, the children quickly understand that we are all different and learn how to get on with everyone regardless. As the signs in the boarding Houses say so clearly, this School is based on respect, tolerance and kindness.
Our pupils are growing up into a world that gets smaller every day and will earn their living in a global workforce. We are aware of the need to skillfully balance the mix of overseas and domestic pupils for the benefit of both. Their classes, ensembles and sports teams are made up of individuals with different strengths that collectively come together to produce something greater than the sum of their parts. Life lessons, indeed.
This School is a proud 'all-rounder' that focuses on education in its widest sense. We would never want to be either an academic hothouse, sport or music academy. Our strength lies in our diverse interests and pupil body, from our successful Grassroots Equestrian Team to the winners of the House Spelling Bee.
See you tomorrow at the Headmaster's stall, where I hope to offer two different games in the interests of diversity!