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Do it with kindness 

We have seen and felt a somewhat subdued start to the school year this year due to a staggered start across year groups. We may have missed the usual energy and cacophony of a thousand boys and voices, fresh from holiday and, for some, just a little bit taller, but if the COVID-19 situation could be considered a curveball, it has been faced by all in our community with both skill and high spirits. As a result, from my view, we have started the year in great shape. 

The feeling of newness that students sense at the start of a new year, even in a school they have been at for years, can be exciting or liberating – but it can also be unnerving. At St Peter’s College, students are encouraged to think not just how they are feeling, but how everyone around them is feeling. Such a reciprocal approach to wellbeing is key to our community. Add to this a steadfast and positive commitment to be a strong ally to others, to feel comfortable and confident to be ourselves, to recognise that our community is made stronger and better when it is made up of diverse ideas and open to diverse influences are all important messages to start the school year and to take with us into our every interaction. 

Throughout the year, we will urge your son to approach his every endeavour with positivity, to throw himself into things, to enjoy grappling with the challenges posed both in and out of the curriculum and to be open to experiences, people, ideas and perspectives. If he can do this, whilst the route to his destination might not always be smooth and it might not always be straightforward, it will be enjoyable, it will be enriching, and he will find himself fulfilled when he comes to the end of his St Peter’s College journey. 

And on this note, please feel free to spare a thought for our Class of 2022 and the experiences and challenges that lie before them. It can be easy for students to see Year 12 as a staging post for the next step in life, knowing that the results at the end of it will help them to determine what the next steps will be. Some can see those steps clearly and will already have a destination in mind – the results, the university, the degree, the career. But please remind your son, where needed, that there is so much to be gained from truly savouring the journey and not just focusing on the destination. So, please feel free to repeat to your sons the words of our 2022 School Captain, Chirath Lekamge:

Be tenacious, be confident, be unrelenting in all that you do. But do it with grace, do it with kindness, do it with humility, and importantly… be proud, to be yourself. 

As ever, please feel free to share with me directly feedback on your son’s experience. 

Marcus Blackburn
Deputy Headmaster/ Head of Senior School

Click here to watch Chirath Lekamge’s School Captain Induction Address.