Head’s Update for the week beginning 23rd November 2020
Firstly, I would like to inform you that the government guidance for schools has been updated following the
most recent announcements. To confirm, none of these changes will impact our current arrangements and
we shall be carrying on as normal until the end of term. As things stand, we should assume the same
arrangements will be in place for January, but we will notify you at the earliest opportunity of any necessary
We started the week in the Prep School thinking about the unique challenges we have faced since
September, due to the increased restrictions imposed in all schools. I asked the children to discuss these and
come up with the top three challenges they have faced. The answers from each class were quite varied, but
highlighted a number of interesting points.
Primarily the importance of people was evident - friends and staff. It is clear we all hugely appreciate
interacting with each other, and have missed the freedom to do this in the usual way. A particularly lovely
thing at Mowden is how well the year groups mix - we don’t actually do anything to encourage this, it is just
one of those things that has always happened here. It was not really a surprise to hear the children identify
that they miss mixing with other year groups, but it was very nice to be reminded of one of the things that
I think makes Mowden special.
The other main area identified was freedom - freedom to choose where to play, freedom to enjoy certain
privileges and freedom to choose where to sit or even eat. Fundamentally we all know how lucky we are
here - small numbers and a large amount of space are the key ingredients for allowing a relatively normal
educational provision. No one was moaning about their lot, we were just openly addressing the areas we
have found difficult.
Life has a funny habit of throwing up challenges, and the current situation is an ongoing one. Our response is
key; and this was something we discussed in our Assembly on Monday. Do we shy away from a challenge; do
we give up when the going gets tough? As a School we help our children face challenges and support them to
feel strong when something doesn’t always go their way. We expect them to put effort into achieving a goal,
and be prepared to work hard for something they want.
Over the half term, I read a very interesting article in my parish magazine. It referenced a man called Victor
Frankl, who was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist. He was also a Holocaust survivor. He wrote a
book called ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ and in it he wrote this:
“ Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing: your freedom to choose
how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always
control what you will feel and do about what happens to you; for the world is in a bad state, but everything will
become still worse unless each of us does his best”
Each and everyone of us have dealt with changes, restrictions and events that have been beyond our control
over the last year. At times it continues to be tough and difficult, but it has been our response to these
challenges that make Mowden outstanding, in my opinion. As a school, and as individuals, we are all trying
our best, and continue to make the best of a truly unique situation. Every day I see small examples of people
watching out for each other, considering each other - simple acts of kindness that make a difference. It
makes me very proud.
Do please keep your contributions for the Food Advent Boxes and the Christmas Parade Tombola coming in
- we are very grateful for your support. I hope you all have an enjoyable weekend/Exeat.
Mrs. Kate Martin, Head