We live, breathe and grow through connection with each other.

You have heard more than enough from me these last few weeks but I thought that I would share with you a Facebook post from an old university friend of mine; she wrote recently that: 

“Calling to place a phone order for groceries in south-west London, I just want to say thank you to Shane who answered with so much warmth and courtesy. I seem to be quarantining my way around the world – three weeks in Kolkata in March and April, and now almost two weeks in London. You gently steered me towards ordering online but you also totally got it when I said ‘I know this can be done online – but I wanted to talk to another human being.’ 

Here’s the thing – what we’re experiencing now is not only about a virus. It’s an opportunity to remember that humans aren’t equipment. We can’t be folded up in a packing box and put away in storage for an indefinite time. We live, breathe and grow through connection with each other – and the sound and sight of another living being is valuable medicine. Just as much as a mask, hand sanitiser and the forthcoming vaccine – or probably more so. 

Keep your humanity alive and warm, everybody, and let it breathe. It’s not expendable – it’s the reason that we’re even here. I am not – nor, to the best of my knowledge have I ever been – sick because of the blessed virus. I’m just respecting the rules of the places I have been to, this year. I am a little tired of the literalism with which we seem to be approaching the virus – as though the only things happening are physical and medical consequences. People need movement, light, air and company and we need to address the impact of living the way we have been living since March this year.”

As we enter Half Term, I would like to pay tribute to our extraordinary staff. I am proud to call them friends and colleagues. Their care for our children is exemplary and compassion, kindness and calm professionalism have been the hallmarks of this term. Thank you to our wonderful body of parents – your feedback and encouragement enables our staff to know that you appreciate all that they do. 

It is time for a well earned rest and though our boarding community will be very much with us during the next couple of weeks, we are looking forward to spending time with them doing fun activities and switching off a little from classroom activities.  

There are some very exciting announcements to be made about forthcoming development projects here at School and we will do this once we have returned from Half Term. I am delighted by all that our children have achieved during these past few months and we have successfully learned to navigate our way through this new world calmly, pragmatically and with a cheerfulness and optimism that comes from a heartfelt appreciation of all that we are and all that we may yet become as one community. I should feel exhausted but, in truth, I feel energised and excited by all that this year has yet to bring. On that note, I must sign off and get ready for my A Level Politics class. 

Whether far or near, we wish you the most relaxing of breaks!

All best wishes,

Jeremy Quartermain