16 October 2017

Stained Glass Windows

I like stained glass windows. Each is a fusion of art and science and design and technology. Some are truly awesome. I am particularly fond of the stained glass in the foyer of Collegians' House: industrious kingfishers and busy wrens, frozen in glass and time.

What I most like about stained glass is the way that it can seem so plain and ordinary from the outside, but when you are inside and the light is shining through, it comes to life. Similarly, there are times when you walk past the outside and the light is shining from within the building, illuminating the glass.

I often think that our students are like stained glass. It is our job as a school and as families to allow each of our boys to shine and reveal the light that is within them. I believe that each one has their own character to show to the world, but it is sometimes difficult for them to do this. Sometimes, it is hard for us to see this light, because that particular person has not yet found the conditions that make it possible for them to light up. They may seem the same as others around them; they may even appear ordinary, but I am convinced that under the right circumstances, each one has something amazing to contribute to the world. It might not be what we want or expect, but each is capable of making the world a better place.

A perfect example of this was demonstrated during the School production of 'Dunsinane' in Week 8. By day, members of the cast and crew wore their school uniforms and went about their business, but at night during their performances, they became different people and revealed a side of themselves that was wonderful to see. To stand in the spotlight takes courage. To perform on a stage and to take on a different character is a great challenge.

In the past few weeks, our Years 8-10 students and the parents of Year 8 boys have been fortunate to listen to excellent presentations from Paul Litherland and Jordan Foster regarding responsible digital citizenship. One of the key points that both speakers made was that it is very difficult to keep control of the images we put onto social media, so we need to be sure about what we post. Posting images and comments that are respectful of ourselves and others - that shine a light on our true selves and values - is one of the great challenges of the digital age. In essence, the boys were encouraged to have the courage to be the guardians of their best future self as well as protecting other people.

Another key message was not to focus on past habits, but on future behaviour. We are all guilty of making mistakes. The test of our character often lies in what we do next time. In striving to become a better person, we allow the light of who we really are to shine.

Mr James Hindle
Director of Student and Staff Wellbeing