Sorry but this form will not work without cookies enabled. Please adjust your browser settings to enable cookies to continue. For more information on how to do this please see our.

  • Did you know?

    In 2020, 25% of our students achieved 40 points and above in the IB Diploma.


  • Did you know?

    Through Nord Anglia University our teaching staff maintain the highest standards of a rigorous British education.

    Our Staff

  • Apply now!

    Admissions for 2022/23 are open!

    IB & FS

  • Connect with our community

    Find out more about out what's happening at the School


  • Did you Know?

    By talking with us directly we can tailor our information to your specific needs and questions. Get in touch!

    reach for your dreams

  • Did you Know?

    We are a warm and welcoming community providing a rigorous education to our students.

    Family school

Message from the Head of Secondary: Just before dawn

28 April 2020

A message from the Head of Secondary, Chris Lowe.

  • chris

I have been fumbling around in a collection of old English idioms recently. My old nan used to say ‘you never know before till after’, a sentiment it has taken me years to fully comprehend, and I recently learned that the common phrase ‘to spill the beans’ has its origins in the early Greek democracies in which placing a white or a black bean in a vase meant a vote for ‘yes’ or for ‘no’. The idiom that stood out from all the others in these times was ‘patience is a virtue’. Cato the Elder of the Roman Republic wrote something along those lines over 2,000 years ago and Geoffrey Chaucer wrote that ‘patience is a high virtue’ in the Canterbury Tales, a best seller back in the 14th century. Patience is a virtue and how we need some virtues today.

I would imagine that by now almost all of us have lost our temper a little bit.  The lockdown has been relentless – and rightly so – and we have all been forced into situations which are unusual and testing. Surely many of us have taken a long inward breath through our teeth as the habits of those we now live so closely with begin to grate a little. Perhaps a few of us have even raised our voices in frustration, only no doubt, to regret it, and apologise later. It isn’t easy to be virtuous but we can begin our attempt, in this holy month, by exercising a little patience.

Take an extra deep breath, force a smile through the frown and try to see the funny side. Give a hug instead of a shout and – here’s another, more recent addition to the lexicography of idioms – try to look on the bright side of life. Let us show those around us the same patience that we need from them and let us also have some patience with the wider world in its attempt to solve the problem we face. Remember that ‘fools rush in…’. And keep in mind also the wise words of the English historian Thomas Fuller who wrote in 1650, that the darkest hour, is just before dawn.

Chris Lowe