Half of them will be in sub-Saharan Africa. That is a lot of old people and a lot of people facing challenging circumstances and poverty. The average age of the entrepreneurs, medics, engineers and aid workers that will address these needs is 25-33. That means the solutions to the problems that this burgeoning population will present will be discovered by our students leaving IB right now, or for the 2050 cohort, our students entering pre-nursery now. For us as parents and teachers, our responsibility has never been greater: we must do all we can to foster the inventive and open minds that will be required to solve unimaginable problems.
Normally I would find this kind of overwhelming sense of foreboding quite depressing. However, we have just come to the end of a series of graduation ceremonies and celebrations: for IB, iGCSE and Year 6 Primary School graduates. Speaking with students at these events, joining their parents to bask in our shared pride, I have experienced a wonderful sense of hope and inspiration. Yes, the world faces many problems, but take a look at these students and take hope! They are full of sharp minds and creative flair, blended wonderfully with modesty and determination. I honestly feel a justified sense of hope that everything might work out just fine for Planet Earth, with students such as these emerging to take their place in society.
Each event had its own unique style: the euphoria of the IB graduation with students standing on the edge of their adult future, full of excitement; the energy of the iGCSE graduation, which was filled with fun and camaraderie, encouragement and hope; and just this morning, the Year 6 graduation which was effused with young people saying the most wonderful things about one another, with grace, kindness and great heart. If anything, this last celebration was the most heartening as it was filled with our youngest graduates displaying wonderful appreciation of their fellow students.
Yes, the news around the world has been tough recently. Yes, it can feel almost impossible to be hopeful about the future. Come and spend a day in our school: you will be inspired and uplifted by the wonderful students who may just be the great hope we are looking for.
Dr Neil Hopkin, Principal