At least one national newspaper has started a section called ‘In Other News’ to try to emphasise that there are other things going on beyond Covid-19 and our current response, and I know that at some point I will want to move on from reactions to remote learning and so forth.
But not quite yet.
This is because with the start of the new term have come so many impressive examples of pupils’ responses to changed circumstances. I tend to think of myself as naturally positive, an optimist if you will, but maybe it’s the greater natural buoyancy of the young which make me so humbled by and impressed by Whitgiftians’ ingenuity in facing the changed world. One young pupil has written a large chunk of a novel. Another produced a short film about his neighbourhood, movingly tracing the generations in his particular area. One has – apart, he stresses, from fully completing his remote learning, live lessons and assignments – been rebuilding a vintage Land Rover. The chance to do a project you’ve always wanted to is one hidden gift of this time, of course.
And the chance to do something for others. Perhaps the reflection on adversity, disease and our own vulnerability does make us all stop and think of how lucky we are, how many others would benefit from our help. Hence perhaps the national surge in volunteering.
For Whitgiftians, the lead has been set – as it has been set in so much – by the School Captain. There will be a time to speak at greater length of the superb leadership of this excellent young man, but in the immediate, we should all applaud and support his personal charitable project: Skip Goes Vegan. The name is not completely self-explanatory, because there’s lots more to it than diet. Zain aims to raise a significant sum, and with all our help, I know he will. Thank you Zain, and thank you to all in the Whitgift community who I know will support him.