It is that time of year again. A time of endings as we say goodbye to 2019 and new beginnings as we welcome 2020.
I started the Autumn Term in our whole school assembly by saying:
“What’s past is done, we can either learn from it, repeat it or allow ourselves to be limited by it.”
Hope lies in moving forward and I urged us all to consider how to best spend our time as it is the only true coin we have. Reflecting on the past term there have been some fairly spectacular choices made by students and staff alike.
In our determination to focus on reward and recognition we have celebrated our students demonstrating extraordinary commitment to academic achievement, community projects, human rights, sporting excellence, fundraising for nominated charities and exemplary modelling of our shared values.
Our educational experiences outside the classroom this term have included, participation in “Top of the Bench” competition at Coventry University, theatre visits, Geography field trips to local destinations and the Peak District, singing with The King’s Singers at Warwick Arts Centre and most recently our German exchange visit. Our Duke of Edinburgh Awards Evening was a wonderful event where we celebrated more students than ever being presented with their bronze and silver awards. This week we have heard that some of our students are going to have their work published following a writing competition which reflects the richness of talent at Heart of England. We even have an alumni appearing on the X Factor: The Band, who was a regular participant in our concerts and productions. Thanks to all the staff who inspire and support our students daily to move beyond their comfort zones.
A sample of sporting highlights include; four of our athletes being selected for a British athletics scholarship following a trial day at Birmingham University, one of our Year 11 students representing England at the Commonwealth Judo Championships, 12 students representing Solihull at West Midlands Cross Country Championships and a Year 7 gaining selection to represent West Midlands at the regional championships, another of our Year 11s has been crowned Ladies Champion at her club and has qualified for and is competing in the European Senior Pro Am. Thanks go out to our committed team of professionals who provide weekly opportunities in football, netball, table tennis, badminton, swimming, cross country, basketball, dance, tennis, running and trampolining.
It is good to linger over the more prominent successes and it is also time to value and to celebrate more broadly all who quietly make brilliant choices every day and make their time count.
At the September assembly I also read out the following from the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness:
“So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble or harming others.
“For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.”
Being kind is central to our values and that includes being kind to yourself. There is much that many will be coping with this holiday and our thoughts are with them. This year we ended the term once again with a wonderful Christmas Concert on Thursday night and QuizMas on Friday, a live Fusion Radio broadcast from our own Recording Studio, created and hosted by Miss Clare with guest appearances from staff and students. We tuned in as a whole school and agreed that humour is alive and well at HoE!
Thanks to you for all your kindness and support this term. Thanks also to our dedicated staff, governors and PTA who work so hard all year. When asked to reflect on their start at Heart of England one of our Year 7 students said, “Loads of older students have helped me, I work hard, I have friends, I laugh.”
I hope that you have a really good holiday, laugh when you can, keep warm and take good care of each other.