It has been a great joy to welcome the School community back to ECS for the start of the Trinity term: if it’s not too late to do so, I wish you all a very Happy Easter. There are some tanned faces around the School site at the moment, suggesting that a good number of pupils and staff were able to enjoy the warm weather over the Easter weekend, but I don’t think any of us was surprised that it started to rain within 24 minutes of the summer term beginning. Nonetheless, we have enjoyed a productive and purposeful (if occasionally soggy) first few days back.
Those of you who came to the Cathedral for any of the Easter services will have seen (and heard) first hand just how hard our 38 Choristers worked over the second week of the holiday. They returned to School on Saturday 13th to begin their preparations for Holy Week and Easter, and they clocked off again after Evensong on Monday 22nd – before returning to School on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Mr Fitzpatrick has written a more detailed account of their busyness elsewhere in the Weekly Newsletter, but I wanted to add my own thanks and congratulations for their hard work and dedication as they served the Cathedral, County and beyond at a very important time in the Church’s calendar.
When the Prep School gathered together in the Cathedral Quire on Wednesday morning, I asked them to spot the link between the following: chewing with your mouth open, twiddling your hair or playing with your fingers, putting your elbows on the table, getting up/down from the table without excusing yourself, and – from the last 18 months or so – starting every sentence to everyone with ‘Wait….’. Bad habits – that was the answer, and I challenged the pupils to avoid those particular ones (especially the ‘wait’ one; count at home how many times this happens) this term. Then we spoke a bit about what a ‘habit’ is, and I asked the School whether they could tell me any of the 9 ECS Habits. Pleasingly, lots of hands went up and I was presented with a full house of ECS Habits. We talk about them lots; they are up in every classroom (including our new one – Chapman 3); there’s a giant display outside the Chantry Library; they are on our website; they are in the Blue Calendar; and on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Our ECS Habits are our touchstones. They are the foundations of our School rules, and dovetail smoothly and reassuringly with the Pre-Prep Golden Rules. They are our point of reference for the expectations we have of the children and of all ECS staff; for our interactions; for our behaviours; for our day-to-day life as a supportive and loving community. They underpin our decision-making and affirm our values as a School which seeks to educate the whole child, nurture individuals, take learning seriously, cherish childhood, be a place where people matter, and which recognises the central importance of the development of character. As I said to the Prep School on Wednesday – display these habits in all that you do, and you’ll be travelling in the right direction. In case you’d like to talk about them at home, here they are below:
|Pre-Prep Golden Rules||Prep School Habits|
|We are kind and helpful
We are gentle
We look after property
We are honest
We work hard
|The habit of hard work
The habit of honouring your commitments
The habit of having a go and keeping going
The habit of taking part
The habit of listening
The habit of being honest, modest and kind
The habit of looking after other people
The habit of looking after your surroundings
The habit of looking after yourself