At St Peter’s College, we aspire for there to be no hierarchy of interests.
What this means is that it doesn’t matter whether a student plays football or the flute, we want him to feel that his efforts and talents are recognised equally and celebrated in both. This is a message that is shared often with students both directly and indirectly by showcasing a wide variety of interests and achievements in School Muster. It is not just that we are aiming to normalise a diversity of interests, but we are simultaneously trying to open both the minds and hearts of our students.
There is a lot happening on a co-curricular level, even as we navigate all that COVID-19 throws at us. Over the past week or so, we have seen students show their passion for Athletics, Badminton, Choir, Junior Debating, House Mooting, Rowing at the Head of the River, and more. There have been some impressive performances across the board and – in a school where there is no hierarchy of interests – each student should feel as valued as his neighbour, whether he is competing at the highest level or just against himself.
There are some students, as you would expect (parents too in fact), who fail to be exhilarated by an organ recital, and an equal number who care less about a perfectly executed cover drive, but we should encourage and model respect for all that gives purpose to the lives of others.
Our School Captains are working on a relevant and exciting project that I am confident will have a profound impact on our culture. The Saints Student Association will reinvigorate and bring an appropriate student voice to our offering of clubs and societies. In a nutshell, there will be more to do at lunchtimes and more places to go. On a deeper level, the aim is to provide a greater number of boys with a greater sense of belonging and, with this, comes wellbeing.
With the Summer Intercol competition just a week away, we have heard from all our student sport leaders in Muster over the past two weeks. They share a consistent message that is incredibly reassuring. That is, they did not shine a spotlight on themselves or their teammates, but on the wider programs of which they are part. There was an emphasis on inclusion in their message – and an absence of hierarchy.
I look forward to adding to the applause at the Alfresco Concert this evening and the chants at Intercol next week. I hope all boys feel our admiration and recognition for the many hours of rehearsal and training that goes into their performances – whatever the arena.
Deputy Headmaster / Head of Senior School