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Message from the Head of Secondary: Silver linings

15 June 2020

A message from our Head of Secondary, Chris Lowe.

  • Christopher

Back in the mid 1990’s, Tim Smit stood at the site of an abandoned tin mine in Cornwall, England and had an idea for a magnificent garden containing every plant species in the world. When he talked to people about it, they told him it couldn’t be done.  So, he deliberately – and wisely – sought out engineers, architects, biologists, environmentalists who were just graduating from University.  “Because they were young’’, he said ‘”and they didn’t know it couldn’t be done…’’.  They got on with it and did it, and today the Eden Project stands on that old tin mine, fulfilling Tim Smit’s vision, driving forward ideas about sustainability and inspiring its visitors towards a greener future.  

Back in mid-March, there was a great deal that we didn’t know we could do. Then, many of our students would have been unable to effectively operate Seesaw as a learning tool, or get themselves admitted to a live conference call on Teams. Few would have considered producing animated movies with friends who were miles and miles away, and fewer still would have imagined themselves dancing, running and exercising without leaving their front room.  Many teachers also wondered if they had the skills to run a ‘remote classroom’ and no doubt there were a few doubting parents too, wondering if they could help to sustain learning in their home.

It has been truly inspiring to see our community do the things we didn’t know we could do. Students of all ages have shown a resilience and determination that is truly admirable, teachers have turned their hands to new technologies and techniques with equal determination, and parents have played their part wonderfully. Of course, there have been difficult moments – all things worth achieving have to face difficult moments. But I hope we will always remember this time as the time when we weren’t sure if we could; and then we did it. 

Chris Lowe, Head of Secondary