In a year when we are focusing on gratitude as a School community, it is important that we role model it for those around us as well as for ourselves. However, this can be very challenging as we seem to live in a world where complaints are heard more often than compliments and where we often stop to reflect on how fortunate we really are.
Last week I was fortunate enough to visit Westventure and join the group sailing. It was fantastic to see the interactions between students as they learned new skills, well out of their comfort zone. The challenges that they face on experiences like this allow for enormous personal growth that often comes in areas we would not expect. For some students, the time they spend at Westventure is the longest they have spent away from home, which can present a number of challenges. Similarly, it may be the first time that they have had to live with people other than their own family for such a long period. While they may know their peers within the school context, living with them in different environment, with a different set of challenges, can lead to new learning about each other and, of course, themselves - physically, socially and emotionally. Speaking to Old Scholars, it is certainly one of the experiences on which they most reflect and one for which they are the most grateful.
After leaving Westventure, a number of staff joined our International Students as they hosted their Chinese New Year Dinner celebration last Friday. We enjoyed an enormous and delicious meal together. The following day, we had students playing school sport at Westminster - tennis, badminton, cricket and basketball – when summer sport commenced.
Just over a few days, it was great to see so many students making the most of the opportunities Westminster provides – inside and out, on campus and beyond our gates. If any of them forgot to thank you for helping make this all possible for them, forgive me if I do it on their behalf. Thank you.