A non-negotiable educational requirement at Truro School is for our students to learn about and consider their response to issues of social justice. One example of this is the large group of sixth formers who are members of our Amnesty Group who discuss and mobilise support on human rights abuses. Last Friday was Holocaust Memorial Day and the group wrote a moving assembly for me to deliver at my Headmaster’s assembly. The message about being prepared to stand up for religious freedom was very powerfully illustrated by the quote from Pastor Niemoller, an anti-Nazi priest who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in a concentration camp.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak for me.
Last weekend another group of sixth formers went to Exeter to take part in the Model United Nations Conference 2017. They were there to act as delegates and to speak on behalf of the UK, Italy and Kazakhstan. It was described as an adrenalin-fuelled experience! Congratulations go to Chloe who was awarded Most Distinguished Delegate and Bethany who won a Highly Commended Delegate award. It’s no mean feat having to stand up and present your case to such a large audience.
As ever in assembly, it was super to be able to make some Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards. The Gold DoE is a real challenge and requires a sustained commitment over a long period. I made the point to the students that it is highly prized by employers because it shows commitment to hard work and many other attributes needed for the work place. With the qualifying expedition involving a 10 day trip to Slovenia in the summer term, there are some perks!
Mr Whitmore, Mrs Newton and the members of the Games department are all feeling about nine feet tall. We found out this week that Truro School had been ranked 6th best independent school for sport in the country by School Sport magazine. The league table is based on 20 different sports and over 120 different national competitions. My assembly on Friday involved all of our students giving themselves a big pat on the back.
I’m really pleased that our new School Council initiative is off the ground. It’s a totally student led initiative with the Lower School Council chaired by our Deputy Head Girl and Boy, the 3rd Year – Sixth Form council chaired by the Head Girl and Boy. They are assisted by Sixth Form house prefects who collect agenda items for discussion. Councillors have now been elected from every year group and I’m looking forward to giving our students a big voice.
Thank you to the parents who came to the first of my monthly drop in coffee mornings on Friday. Lots of coffee was consumed but, as ever, we over-catered on the pastries! The next gathering is on Friday, 24th February so please come along.