Headmaster's message: 'Keep outgoing, optimistic and joyful'

A message from the headmaster

WITH the announcement of the second lockdown starting this Thursday, these are difficult times for the whole country. I am pleased that schools can remain open and hopefully will continue to do so. We will do all we can to continue to provide a safe and secure environment for education to continue. Having seen the smiling faces of our students over the last few weeks, I am sure that the last thing anybody wants is any further disruption to their intellectual and emotional development by being unable to come to school. Nevertheless I am also aware that for some there are renewed anxieties and pressures associated with coming to school. We will continue to follow government guidance, as best we can in the circumstances, and for that I continue to thank all staff at RGS - whether teaching or non- teaching, and in whatever capacity, for their dedication.

This week I was able to speak to the year groups in assembly about the educational philosophy of Kurt Hahn, the founding headmaster of Gordonstoun School. While we might not quite support a regime of early morning runs and cold showers which Princes Charles famously dubbed ‘Colditz in kilts’ from his experience at the school, there is much that was visionary in Hahn’s ideas about the importance of exercise, expeditions and crafts-building which went on to inspire such programmes as the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Hahn believed deeply in the civilising influence of education - creating in young people a desire to live life according to values of compassion, service to others and personal responsibility. While lockdown may have taken away many of our trips, sport, music, drama – in other words many of the enriching experiences of a holistic education - I do hope over the next few months our young people can continue to keep physically and mentally fit, get out into the natural world and develop the empathy that comes from service to others. In other words: keep outgoing, optimistic and joyful about what life has to offer. 

With all best wishes,

Jonathan Webb