Over the last couple of weeks I’ve touched on what I see as the key priorities for Wellington over the next twelve months. I’ve spoken about the importance of independent thinking, learning and coping – and I can assure you that the letters ITLC will become very familiar to you, for I know that we would be failing as a school if we didn’t foster these attributes in our pupils, for they will be crucial in the world they are joining. I’ve talked about the centrality of inspiration, for I want Wellington to be a unique place that no other school can match in terms of the exciting, uplifting and mind-opening opportunities it offers: we see it every day with all the opportunities that exist in and outside the classroom – but also in all our glorious quirkiness: channel-swimming, Be the Duke, Maniacs, and of course Ed Fest, all of which quicken the pulse in one way or other.
However, all of this would mean little unless the central tenet of our priorities is kindness and true generosity of spirit. I am determined that Wellington should be both the kindest and most inclusive school in the country, and this of course draws from our values and shapes our identity – after all, there is no point having these values if they don’t inform every aspect of who we are. I feel we are making progress every day, but there is still much to do. We must continue to break down hierarchies here at College, we need to continue to reach out to the state system with our teaching partnerships, and we should always keep looking outwards – maintaining our global perspective is important. Above all we must try to ensure we are never too busy for the little daily acts of kindness that when added together become the cornerstone of College life. I am not just talking about the youngsters here: we all have a part to play, whether we are parents, teachers or governors, for that is what real inclusivity is all about. Lofty aims maybe, but even if we can’t always reach them, they will, like the stars, illuminate our existence.
It seems incredible that another school year is coming to a close, and yet so much has happened here at College that last September already seems an age away. And that is just as it should be, for if a week is a long time in Politics then it is certainly so at Wellington. As I heard the wonderful tributes paid to our Sixth Form leavers at their Graduation ceremony on Friday, it struck me time and time again how much they have made of all the opportunities that they have discovered here, and how each and every one of them has left their mark on the school and helped make it what it is now – just as Wellington has helped fashion them into the fine young men and women that they are today. I wish them all the very best of fortune as they leave school and embark on the next stage of their exciting journeys – they have been a great year group.
I hope you all have a wonderful summer full of rest and relaxation – and I also hope that your children make the most of the chance to do some truly extreme reading!