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It is remarkable that Brockwood Park School has been able to function without interruption throughout the autumn term and the full academic programme has been delivered as planned. Having said this, after four months without leaving the school, everyone is ready for the winter break and our students are eager to see and spend time with their families and friends. The end of term has been busy as usual with many familiar seasonal activities, including: a wonderful winter concert involving a large number of students; the celebratory end of year dinner-dance; additional work for students applying for universities; the familiar winter ritual of report writing for staff. In addition, there have been the more unfamiliar adjustments and workload which Covid-19 has imposed on us: one recent example being the need to move our regular end of term Parents Weekend (an occasion when parents come and stay locally, or in the school, and meet with staff and students) completely online.
Throughout this, living and working together brings its own intensity and challenges in relationship, with each other and the world. This all falls under the basic intention of the school, which is to know oneself, and which requires a good dose of contemplation and dedication. Relationships are the mirror by which we can all observe what we are without deceiving ourselves in the process. Our emotional and visceral side – attachments, friendships, insecurities, limitations, hurts, anger, love, sorrows, etc. – are revealed in our interactions with others and it is crucial that we learn about them as they accompany us throughout life. The more we understand, the better chance we have of living a sane and healthy life, free from inner and outer conflict.
Current global events mean that generally there is widespread anxiety and uncertainty about the future. In our case, based on the experience we have gained so far this year, we feel confident that the school will be able to run without interruption next term. There are predictions about further disruption and change on the horizon and how this may affect us all, and most people wish to know what lies ahead. However, there is a tendency to constantly refer to the outer as if it is something independent of us all and to forget that it is not, and the future may be determined by our level of self-awareness and understanding. To ignore our own capacity for these qualities is to project, blame, fight, withdraw, despair; in short, business as usual. As part of our approach to education at Brockwood Park School, we are interested in nurturing self-awareness, which in itself is change.