Lunchtime in School House on the first day back at School. “Are we going running today, Sir?” Much discussion about the rain-lashed windows ensues amongst the Year 11 I am dining with. The consensus is that this is perfect running weather and that any attempt to cancel it would be met with disbelief and disappointment.

Resilience is much in vogue at present as our teenagers grow up in a competitive world where change is the only constant and social structure less defined than in the past. And whilst physical resilience is only a small part of that which is needed in later life, the emotional strength which grows out of physical challenges met and overcome during the teenage years is palpable.

There is no doubt that the recent weather that has swept across Britain has wrought havoc to families and brought tragedy to some. At the same time it has put many people back in touch with the elements and the environment, created challenge for others and united communities in common cause.

Extreme events demand exceptional responses. Many people will remember the storm of August 1987 which swept through the South of England and will recall the collective response to the damage and homelessness it caused. This winter weather provides an opportunity to face a challenge, to build new memories and a resilience for the future from the experience. It presents an important educational opportunity, the fruits of which will be transferable to many challenging moment in our pupils’ lives in the future.

We went running. 

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