The life of a Headmaster can be one of almost surreal contrasts. In any typical hour I might find myself in a meeting discussing the implementation of new legislation regarding Child Protection and then, five minutes later, being interrupted by a delegation of Form 1 pupils wanting to read their poems to me (thank you George, Ruby and Fraser!) and to tell me what they have planned for break time. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. The young people are our priority and, while the legislation is important for keeping them safe, it is also vital to make the time to hear them read and listen to their stories.
An amount of my time this week has been taken up drafting content for our new website. Building upon the work done by staff prior to the start of term regarding our Values, I have been looking closely at how we can define our Ethos. In other words, I have been trying to discern what the characteristic spirit of our community is and how this is manifested in our attitudes and aspirations. Put another way, what is it that we are up to together and what does Craigclowan stand for?
One thing that has become very clear talking with staff is that they have a passion for Childhood. They believe, as I do, that children should grow up slowly and really make the most of each moment while they are here. We live in a society where children seem to be encouraged to reach the next development stage ever sooner and we, as parents, can be guilty of this too. However, these are precious years and we must be careful not to squander them or wish them away just so that we can rush on to the next stage in our journey together.
In my assembly this morning I discussed Heroes with the children. We explored what makes a Hero (it turns out it requires more than just wearing your pants over your trousers!) and we came to the conclusion that a Hero isn’t a special person. Rather, a Hero is an ordinary person who took the time to do something extraordinary for someone else. I asked the children to think about how they can be more heroic in their lives by helping others, focussing less on their own needs and making more of their talents and strengths. As a bit of homework, I asked them to think carefully about what they have already done in their lives that they are truly proud of that could qualify them as a Hero in our midst. I look forward to hearing their ideas.
John F Gilmour