As a school we want our pupils to show resilience and not give up (whether they are doing a maths paper or losing a sports fixture with five minutes to go), we also want our pupils to know that we are compassionate and understanding. Pupils need to know that within Stoneygate they can express their emotions to either their friends or staff.
The British have often been accused of a lack of emotion and having a “stiff upper lip”; finding the right balance between being resolute and showing your emotions is difficult enough for adults, let alone pupils. Recently I spoke to pupils about emotions and crying (and thank you to pupils from Year 9 for their drama). We cry when we cut an onion, we cry whilst watching a sad film, we cry with joy at weddings, we cry with laughter, we cry with relief when winning gold at the Olympics…
Barack Obama’s speech on gun control…British Olympians
It has been a week full of emotion at Stoneygate.
On Tuesday evening I addressed our alumni on the topic of ‘Stoneygate’s Fallen heroes’. As Headmaster and as an historian I felt great pride, humility and sorrow talking about young men who had died one hundred years ago in World War I. What struck me about these young men were their attributes- these were young men who enjoyed their studies and sport. Characteristics that are still important a century later.
Take, for example, the story of Guy Russell. He was a natural athlete.
He was captain of rugby in 1904 and two years later he captained the cricket team. (See image.) Guy fell in love with his childhood sweetheart, Gladys Hitchin. They eloped to Gretna Green, got married and had a brief honeymoon at the end of which Gladys said farewell to Guy as he left for war. Guy never returned. He died on October 13th 1915 at the battle of Loos…on the very same day his wife gave birth to their son, Derek.
Guy Russell, Captain of rugby and cricket…
Wednesday and Thursday were emotional days too. I was very proud of all the pupils and staff involved in the Pre-Prep production, “A King’s Christmouse”. The script, the stage, the choreography, the singing, the acting, the costumes..were all first class. I hope you enjoyed the production as much as I did.
Today we experienced the joys (and some minor frustrations) of technology as we skyped Marvin B Elementary school in North Carolina. Pupils from our Years 1 and 2 discussed cultural differences..
We asked about Thanksgiving; they asked about Christmas crackers. I did explain that the joke was supposed to be awful.
Despite being on the other side of the Atlantic, we managed to sing “We wish you a Merry Christmas” at the same time. We aim to develop this link with North Carolina in the future.
Finally, thank you to everyone involved in the Santa Fun Run today… in an age where we have to justify everything, how refreshing it was to do the Morris Mile with our Santa hats on…just for sheer enjoyment…my special thanks to the Stoneygate School Association for helping organise the post run treats: coffee, mince pies and hot chocolate…
In an emotional week, I was delighted to hear Chris Evans talk about us on his radio show this morning….
On Radio 2 this morning…”Robbie Williams, Dawn French and Stoneygate school”…not a bad line up.