Dear Parents and Carers
This is my final blog as headteacher of St Michael’s and I want to use this opportunity to say thank you, goodbye and best of luck!
Last week, I had the opportunity to thank all the children for their love, kindness and for all the amazing memories that I will take with me. I also want to thank you as parents and carers, for all the support over the years and your commitment to work together with St Michael’s, so that we could give the children the best primary education.
During my secondment over the last 6 months, I have visited many other schools and have come to realise, even more so than before, what a special and unique place St Michael’s is and I am so proud that I have been part of this family for the last 10 years.
When I have said my goodbye to the children, I shared with them the word:
‘Ubuntu’ is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others‘ and it is the concept of “Love your neighbour…” (Mark 12:31)
‘Ubuntu’‘ is the opposite of selfish and self righteousness.
‘Ubuntu’ is a word for a general attitude of kindness towards all other people.
‘Ubuntu’ involves never looking the other way.
‘Ubuntu’ involves never walking away.
This term has become a South African philosophy. Nelson Mandela said ‘Ubuntu’ is ‘I am what I am because of who we all are‘. ‘Ubuntu’ binds everyone in a community, regardless of the colour of their skin, their religion or the life choices they make. ‘Ubuntu’ is about celebrating the ways in which we are the same and not noticing the ways in which we are different. ‘Ubuntu’ is about being kind and generous, caring and compassionate.
So my message to the school community of St Michael’s is – continue to show ‘ubuntu’. Show unconditional kindness and compassion to each other.
A group people that I can truly say understand the concept of ‘ubuntu’ and have shown ‘ubuntu’, again and again, who show compassion and kindness, are the staff of St Michael’s. I have learnt so much from each member of the staff. Last week, I was able to express my sincerest gratitude to them for the significant impact they have had on my journey. Here is a short video that I’ve shared with them.
I am saying goodbye with mixed feelings, because whilst it is quite emotional for me to leave, St Michael’s will always be family. I feel it is the right time to pass on the baton to someone new. However, I am extremely confident that the staff and governors will ensure the school continues to grow from strength to strength and I know in my heart that St Michael’s will continue to flourish.
As I said to the children and staff last week – no matter how deep the footprints, with time the water washes them away. But thank you for giving me the platform to make my footprints. The water may wash over them, but the memories I’ve made in making these footprints will stay with me forever. I wish you all the best of luck. I will watch from afar and will always be St Michael’s biggest cheerleader.