At least three, and possibly five former Whitgift pupils have been selected for GB’s hockey squad, news came today, and in some ways I’m sorry the news didn’t come early enough to be included in Open Morning talks. But in other ways I’m not.
That might seem an odd thing to say. I am incredibly proud of Luke, Jonty, Zac, Rhys and Jack, as we are of so many present and past Whitgiftians, but more important on an Open Morning is talking about future potential and values, as well as current achievements. We do activities not just for their own sake, but because they engender values of aspiration, commitment and a ‘can-do’ attitude, and as I did say on Open Morning, academic success, any good school’s prime aim, is for us built on those values and on the relationships between staff and boys which value their potential and desire the best for them.
A Fifth Form or Upper Sixth boy might think showing we value him by running an early set of grades is some kind of sick joke, but it’s actually because this year matters that we have introduced this early flag, for those who have started so well, and those who may need a little nudge. Showing an interest means it matters.
I’ve written before about Prism, but I make no apologies for doing so again in this same context. I write after a superb session at which one Upper Sixth former and two staff gave short talks about Time. Commitment and aspiration here too, with Freddie’s talk taking place alongside Mr Wilson’s and Mr Hanley’s. Relationships and mutual support here too, with adults listening to boys and boys listening to adults.
And in the audience plenty of boys who have many other commitments, and succeed in many other areas. What we talked about on Open Morning, in other words, in reality.