Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas. Apparently. And so it was the musaceaen fruit-salad-favourite found itself served up as the topic of discussion at two recent Headmaster’s assemblies – split across the Pre-Prep and the Prep.
We agreed that bananas were fascinating. Did you know that, in fact, a banana grows on a plant that is classified as a herb? And did you know that a banana floats in water? Or that a banana is classified as a berry? Or indeed that the inside of its peel can be used to relieve itching and inflammation? Neither did I. But – as I underlined to the Prep School on Monday – these snippets have come straight from a quick Google search, so I would need to double-check them before putting my name to them as facts.
During these assemblies I encouraged the children – from 3 to 13 – to go a bit bananas. An unhelpful instruction to slip in first thing on a Monday morning, perhaps, but I am thick-skinned and it was meant in good faith. You see, there are three particularly appealing qualities in a banana that I would like to see in each of our pupils – and which, indeed, it gives me great pride to witness every day at ECS.
Firstly, a banana is a happy fruit. Look at it – it’s shaped like a smile. And they’re bright yellow – a happy and vibrant colour that lifts the spirits and which gives rise to hope and joy. The ECS community is a happy and smiley one, too: we like people to be bright, cheery and positive – and to greet each other with a smile. I’ve shown lots of families around in the last few weeks and they have each commented on the happy vibe of the School and on how smiley the children are. In our cheeriness we seek to be banana-like.
Secondly, bananas grow in bunches – and they grow upwards. They stick together, grow up together and develop together on their way to becoming fully-fledged bananas. There are lots of different ‘bunches’ around ECS – class, form, house, year-group, section, team – and each of them grows upwards. Whichever bunch we most feel part of, it’s good to know that we are surrounded by and supported by others in our bunch – we will work together, play together, live together and learn together.
And thirdly, bananas are full of energy. Having one for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack gives us the enthusiasm, the positivity and the energy to throw ourselves into all that the day has to offer. And we want that from our ECS community, too – people who are full of energy and enthusiasm; people who give off that energy and inspire others with their proactivity and determination.
So there we are: we strive to be a community of bananas. I am proud to say that the 50% of us which is allegedly made up of banana is very much in evidence here. Come and visit us at any time: I’m pretty sure you’ll find us to be a smiley and energetic bunch.