Friday, 13 May 2016

Head Master's Weekly Notes - 13 May 2016

Over this past week we have witnessed something quite remarkable and extraordinary in both politics and sport. In one, we have seen a team who were nearly relegated last season and given odds of 5000-1 of wining the Premier League to lifting that coveted trophy over the weekend as they emphatically beat Everton 3-1 at the King Power stadium in front of their delirious fans. Their top scorer Jamie Vardy was playing non- league football for Stocksbridge Park Steels FC only a few years ago and has burst on the scene and may well win the Golden Boot too this season. Supporters of the traditional top teams overtly wanted Leicester City to win (including myself). They were a team of cast-offs and bargain buys, written off before the season had even started and led by a manager who had been sacked in five of his previous jobs. In fact the media had even said that the manager will be the first to be sacked this season. But Leicester's squad of freebies and unknown imports have shocked the football world with their Premier League triumph, becoming household names and fully fledged international stars along the way. They have given hope to millions – it seems, nothing is impossible.

Similarly, the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan did not have a privileged start in life. He was one of eight children born to Pakistani immigrants, a bus driver and a seamstress, on a south London housing estate. Khan could not be more different in style and background to his Old Etonian predecessor Boris Johnson. Much has been made, not least by his own side, of Khan’s humble origins. There is certainly something of the Dick Whittington about him; the hard-working state educated boy whose migrant family came to London in search of a better life, grew up on a south London council estate and ended up becoming Mayor of London – it seems, nothing is impossible.

And we continue to push ourselves here too. We wish our Y11s, Y12s and Y13s all the very best as they take on the challenges and demands of public exams next week and all summer and we hope that we have given them the confidence and resilience to help them overcome any obstacles and succeed – nothing is impossible.  This weekend also see our Equestrian Team take on the might of Stonar School at the Inter Schools One-Day Event and the Duke of Edinburgh expedition to Cranborne Chase with 47 eager adventurers hoping to complete their bronze award (and the weather forecast looks encouraging!). And of course we welcome Marco Pierre White this evening to help celebrate our 125th anniversary, a load of Old Sexeians who will be playing a Squares tournament tomorrow and our Boarding Open Morning on Saturday too. Plenty of quality opportunities for our students to get involved in and be challenged by which can only build character and resilience in the long run, the very qualities employers are always looking for. Personally, I believe that we should be continually challenging ourselves, both mentally and physically. Remaining in our comfort zones and in our comfy slippers is an all too easy option and a culture of complacency could develop as a result. Now where are my walking boots - it seems, nothing is impossible!

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