One of the clichés of school life is that time passes incredibly quickly: ‘December already’, and so forth. Cycles, timetables, calendars with their landmarks - all of these of course have that psychological effect, and busy-ness also leads to the feeling of rapid passage of time. All obvious.
In his programme notes for this weekend’s fixtures, the Director of Rugby, Mr Chris Wilkins, reviewed the season to date, making the point that the boys rely on a wide network of support to be able to play, and focussing too on the character shown in some of the games we’ve come through so excitingly. At a time when many of these boys are writing UCAS personal statements (at least one draft changed hands at the main entrance on Friday evening!), it’s worth remembering one of the key principles of these statements. A list of what you have done is relatively unimportant: much more relevant is how what you have done has helped you develop. So not ‘I’ve been in loads of concerts’, but ‘being in loads of concerts has helped me develop my teamwork/focus/appreciation of how parts fit together’...and so on.
So rather than the classic headmasterly ‘look at what we’ve done’, I try to think about how what we do develops us. Sport provides a great example. What has this excellent season to date done for us? My guess is that high levels of school and national commitment makes the boys organised and better able to prioritise. It self-evidently develops teamwork. It fosters working together and reflection on performance. It enables learning from defeat (that comeback against Warwick!) - all this good stuff which you cannot, in my view, easily learn in isolation.
So called ‘soft’ skills in short. Who would have thought high-level sport, and highly competitive rugby above all, would be developing soft skills. But it is!