‘Children are 20% of the population but 100% of our future’.
These words from Tony Blair in 2017 have got me thinking. Now I don’t usually like to wish my life or summer holiday away or think too much about getting older but this statement has prompted me to reflect about why schools are so important to the future of our society – to our future. I think you will agree that society is somewhat fragile at the moment. I am sure you have a view on things such as austerity: Brexit, Trump, school funding, unemployment, homelessness, reality TV and an unhealthy obsession with social media. I won’t impose any of my own personal views upon you however, I do think that if the ills of society are going to get better the responsibility lies firmly with the next generation – our learners.
I often hear the expression ‘British Values’ thrown around in education regarding how well we positively prepare our learners for life in modern Britain. Democracy, law, liberty, respect and tolerance are included in the list. I don’t think any of us would disagree with these things as being important. For me, British Values boils down to two things: altruistically caring and respecting each other regardless of any differences. I also think and a good cup of tea is essential too.
However you interpret or view British Values our commonality is that they will shape our future. The values we impart to our learners will impact the way the country is governed and the laws that operate as well as the healthcare and services that we will engage with. Every interaction with the learners of Honywood can either have a positive or negative effect on the values they take with them into that society. They may not thank us right now but if we have done our job well, rest assured they will silently thank us in the future by shaping the world we live in for the better. They will go on to take care of the next generation of children; they will keep us safe; they will take care of our health as we age; they will entertain us; they will set our laws; they will feed us and they will lead us.
The responsibility simply can’t rest on one group of people. There is an old proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. I would like to thank parents, carers, teachers and the wider community for the support that you continue to give us and for being that village. Next week I shall send you some updates and reminders about our respect code and dress code in preparation for September. We have made a few tweaks to our approach so that we can continue to develop values such as respect and I appreciate your ongoing support and for working with us to raise the children of Honywood. As we approach the summer holiday I will be passing the baton on to families to continue to develop our young people into the model citizens of the future so that we may ensure that the 20% are equipped with the right values to secure our future.
However you all use the break from Honywood this summer, I wish you the very best.
I look forward to welcoming you all back to Honywood in September