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Headmaster’s Blog

‘Pupil Voice’ is something we take very seriously at ECS. I am delighted, therefore, to bring you a guest blog this week from Leela, a Year 7 pupil.  Entirely off her own bat, Leela delivered an assembly to the whole Prep School back in December. In the reflective stillness of the Cathedral Quire, Leela spoke passionately, articulately and eruditely on the topic of ‘diversity’. What follows is the script that she prepared. My huge thanks to Leela for the thought-provoking and thoroughly engaging assembly that she gave, and for her permission to reproduce her script as this week’s Headmaster’s Blog. I am sharing it with you because I am proud: proud of the speech’s content, proud of Leela for preparing and delivering it, and proud to be Headmaster of a School which nurtures and inspires this level of appropriate confidence and broad outlook in its pupils.

Hello My Name is Leela and I am going to be taking your assembly. Today we are going to be talking about diversity. Before we start could we all turn to our hymn.

If I Were A Butterfly

Song lyrics to If I Were A Butterfly, a children’s song. 

If I were a butterfly,
I’d thank you, Lord, for giving me wings;
And if I were a robin in a tree,
I’d thank you Lord, that I could sing;
And if I were a fish in the sea,
I’d wiggle my tail and I’d giggle with glee;
But I just Thank You Father, for making me – ME!

’Cause you gave me a heart and
You gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus, and
You made me His Child
And I just Thank You, Father
For making me – ME!

If I were an elephant,
I’d thank you, Lord, by raising my trunk;
And if I were a kangaroo,
I’d hop, hop, hop, right up to you;
And if I were an octopus,
I’d thank you, Lord, for my good looks;
But I just Thank You, Father, for making me – ME!

‘Cause you gave me a heart and
You gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus, and
You made me His Child
And I just Thank You, Father
For making me – ME!

If I were a wiggly worm,
I’d thank you, Lord, that I could squirm;
And if I were a crocodile,
I’d thank you, Lord, for my big smile;
And if I were a fuzzy-wuzzy bear,
I’d thank you, Lord, for my fuzzy-wuzzy hair;
But I just Thank You, Father, for making me – ME!

‘Cause you gave me a heart and
You gave me a smile
You gave me Jesus, and
You made me His Child
And I just Thank You, Father
For making me – ME!

Who here knows what diversity actually means?

Diversity means differences, and it’s a word that celebrates differences. When we hear the word different we usually think of that as a bad thing, because at our age everyone just wants to fit in, and no one wants to be left out. But what if I told you that being different is a good thing? Because nobody is exactly the same, not even identical twins. If you think about it, if everybody were to be the same, the world would be absolutely boring. But we have to remember that just because somebody may look different or sound different, it doesn’t mean that they will think differently, it doesn’t mean that one person will be cleverer than the other. It just means that maybe they were raised in a different culture.

Now does anyone know what culture means?

Culture means many different things. But I am going to be talking to you about the meaning of culture when it comes to different countries and religions, or even where you were born and raised. What I mean by that is we were all raised differently and it molds us into who we are. For example, England is very different to a place like India. If you go to India you will notice many differences. For example they usually eat with their hands, whereas we usually eat with a knife and fork. They are quite disciplined in the sense that you should always eat, receive, and give with your right hand. But does that mean that there is only one way to eat your food? No it doesn’t. Because every country is different, and we should be happy and thankful that there are many different ways of doing things.

Culture can also mean our surroundings, and things that make an impact upon us, and whether there is much diversity in our lives. Because all of these things have a big impact in our lives, and they make us who we are, and they make us who we will be.

Now I am going to talk about stereotyping. What is a stereotype? And are we stereotypical? Are there male or female stereotypes? An example of a stereotype is if you have ten Oreos and one biscuit has cheese in and you then think that all of them have cheese in. If you met a person from another school and they weren’t very nice to you it doesn’t mean that everyone at that is not nice. It may be that the one person had a bad time. So it is not right to judge a whole group of people based on your experience with one person.

Prayer: For the Diversity of Races and Cultures

O God,
you created all people in your image.
We thank you for the astonishing variety
of races and cultures in this world.
Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of friendship,
and show us your presence
in those who differ most from us,
until our knowledge of your love is made perfect
in our love for all your children;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

18 January 2019
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