BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
"Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness".
I often cry watching films, and whilst sometimes it is appropriate, it is often during the most mundane scenes and moments. Last Saturday evening, however, was different. We watched the film 'Wonder', and I found it to be one of the most inspiring films I had ever watched, and indeed one of the most moving. It tells the story of August Pullman - a boy who is desperate to blend in, but destined to stand out. It is sure to inspire everyone of the true value of kindness, and as August puts it: "when given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind".
Many people encapsulate the value of kindness, but few more than the Dalai Lama, who possesses a fundamental belief in humanity and his optimism for the future. in 'The Book of Joy', a recent publication which chronicles a week long dialogue between himself and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, both men talk at length of how witnessing acts of kindness around them have helped them grow in courage against adversity.
Instead of going largely unnoticed as part and parcel of daily life, unexpected acts of kindness on a sensational or global scale often make headlines and go viral on the internet. There are many extraordinary acts of kindness and compassion shown by people towards others, however it is the more ordinary opportunities to reach out to others that are just as important. As Archbishop Tutu puts it: "the modern world is suspicious of compassion because we have accepted the belief that nature is red in tooth and claw and we are fundamentally competing against everyone and everything".
Two glorious tales demonstrate the simplicity, yet significance of spreading a little kindness.
In the story 'The Mouse and the Lion' by Aesop, a small mouse is caught by a lion. Instead of being eaten he is let go. Later on, the mouse comes across the same lion trapped in a giant, strong net. With her teeth the mouse chews through the net and frees the lion, who had earlier on saved her life. Kindness breeds kindness, and both the lion and mouse reaped the rewards of their generosity. It is from this tale that the famous quote "no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted" comes from.
More recently, the acclaimed children's author, Julia Donaldson, wrote the 'Smartest Giant in Town'. One of Arthur's favourite books, it tells the story of a giant who visits a clothing shop to buy a completely new wardrobe for himself, only to shed each item one by one to various animals in need on the way home. However, due to his generosity, he finds himself left with no clothes at all, and rushes back to the shop. To his bitter disappointment it is closed, but he finds his old clothes in a bag outside. Filled with joy, he puts these tatty clothes on and skips home to find all the animals waiting for him with a thank you note addressed to the 'kindest giant in town'. Spread a little kindness...
As we come to the end of our brief encounter with snow (and I do hope you have all enjoyed some magical family time outside), I am reminded of the 'Beast from the East' last year that brought the many parts of the UK, and especially Scotland, to a standstill for many days. The twitter hashtag #thankyouNHS highlighted to extraordinary service and lengths many people went to do helping others. Amongst others, there was an account about scarves being placed in Bristol City Centre for homeless people.
Looking out for others, being proud of our duty to serve, and an acceptance that simple, kind acts go a long way, are all critical to learn from a very young age. It gives me great pleasure to hear about these simple acts of kindness on an everyday basis here at St George's, a sure sign that we will see extraordinary service and generosity of spirit from these young people as they face the opportunities ahead..
A showed a clip in Assembly on Monday that demonstrates the power of simple acts of kindness. Do take some time to watch it.
As August Pullman receives the most significant school prize at the end of term in his school, he says: "I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives". No matter what talent someone possesses, that ovation will surely come through a commitment to kindness and authenticity.
I wish all St George's families a happy weekend, wherever your adventures take you.
Head Master's Celebration Assembly
The following pupils received certificates at our Celebration Assembly on Monday:
Head Master's Commendations
With so many good individual and team performances this week, the job to pick one player of the week has become increasingly difficult; what a lovely problem to have! Congratulations to everyone involved in matches and training this week.
Tuesday saw our U8 and U9 swim team competing at St Piran’s in a very exciting gala. The U8 team managed to win three of their four relay races and demonstrated some excellent teamwork. Well done to all our swimmers!
Last Friday the Year 3 girls had an afternoon of netball with Upton House. During lessons they have been working on moving the ball up the court and it was lovely to see them putting this in to practice during a match. Well played girls!
On Wednesday our U10 girls played against Waverley at Windsor Leisure Centre. There were lots of rotations and they gave a really strong performance, working well as a team.
It was a disappointing afternoon for the U11A Girls netball team as the Wellington tournament was cancelled due to bad weather. The girls dealt with the disappointment admirably, and are now setting their sights on the IAPS event in a few weeks’ time.
Our U12/13 team did incredibly well playing against Lambrook; Maddie W and Freya W were awarded players of the match.
On Friday our Year 3 and Year 4 boys played against Milbourne Lodge, expressing some delight that the weather was no longer affecting their ability to play matches. The Year 3 continue to work on passing the ball more effectively through key stages of the game and Year 4 have been working hard on moving the ball more quickly from the contact area. We look forward to seeing this in action at the U9 National Rugby Qualifiers on Sunday.
All matches on Wednesday were against Holme Grange. Despite frozen pitches in the morning, the Windsor sun worked its magic and bar we managed to get all the U10 games bar two to go ahead as planned.
The Under 10As showed determination, leadership and teamwork in a hard-fought game. Both sides were committed and effective in the contact area. Ultimately, Holme Grange proved to be too strong, but credit should go to our boys who never gave up. Special mention should go to James E who was excellent in the tackle and attacked with flair.
Both U11 teams worked incredibly hard in training this week, resulting in their best performances of the season to date. Work at the ruck area is improving and the ability to organise in both attack and defence is progressing steadily.
The 2nd XII equipped themselves well despite missing a number of players, and put on an impressive display of rucking which had been of particular focus in training. Particular mention must go to Tristan U-I for his efforts in this area.
The 1st XII had very encouraging performance from all the boys, stepping up against a strong side! They were slow to start, but as the game went on they began to link the phases together and capitalise on their opponents’ mistakes. The difference between the two teams was our ability to keep the ball moving away from contact and exploit the space that Holme Grange left available. Particular mention must go to Charlie T and Caleb M-D on their progress through the course of the game. The teamwork on show was outstanding, resulting in a well-earned win for all involved.
This week's visitors
On Wednesday we were visited by PCO Dave Bullock who talked to Year 4 about anti-social behaviour and how it can leave people feeling intimidated, angry and frightened.
On Friday our Assembly Speaker was Beth Jones, who is an Art Curator with the Royal Collection Trust. Beth gave a really fascinating account of her varied work around the Royal Palaces, Residences and Art Collections all over the country, although she is mainly based at Windsor Castle. It was an extremely interesting presentation and afterwards she replied to questions from Bill O, then lots of others from across all the year groups.
Monday's evening concert – the first of 2019 – yet again delighted the audience with an abundance of talent, musical variety and a superb performance. With performers from Year 3 right up to Year 8, the musical standard remained impressively high. Of particular note was a piano trio played by Felix F, Jon Jon M and Jamie P; entitled 'mini-mashup' the listeners were treated to a host of nursery rhymes cleverly interwoven with each other and played with a real panache.
Taking photographs proved a bit of a challenge, so our apologies to those performers who have been left out on this occasion.