LETTER FROM THE HEAD
Each newsletter seems to begin the same way. The fact is that College has once again been extremely busy and many students are very involved and committed. Those not bowing to the clichéd option of being overly stressed and who are showing tenacity, are by far in the majority. Many students are engaging positively with all the opportunities being afforded them. Every weekend this term has been abuzz with sporting, cultural and service events and I commend the students who are contributing to the life of the school and simultaneously gaining invaluable life skills in the process. For example, the Matric Spirit Portfolio proved the value of peer support at the girls’ water polo against Rhenish on Friday. The electric spirit and vibrant support was definitely part of a winning formula and evidence of the value of generous support. It is wonderful to see young people supporting each other.
And once again we have some outstanding Cambridge results to celebrate. The “Outstanding Learner Awards” in the country have been recently announced and are as follows:
High Achievement in IGCSE German
Top in the country in AS-Level Computer Science
Top in the country in AS Economics
High Achievement in A-Level Computer Science
Top in the country in A-Level Chemistry
Top in the country in A-Level Mathematics
Best across three Cambridge International A-Levels
Well done to these students and their exceptional teachers. The Cambridge curriculum is challenging and these results are indeed outstanding.
Recently, I have had some interesting conversations with parents. Some of these conversations were with prospective parents worrying about the choice of high school; other conversations were about the lack of commitment often shown by other students to a team and others spoke about the challenges of raising children in volatile times. In all the conversations the theme is, by and large, the same. Each parent feels the paradoxically joyful burden of responsibility for something so precious, coupled with a fear that they may be doing something wrong. While positive parenting is an invaluable aspect of a child’s future completeness as an adult, and while the things a parent does are significant, the very fact that parents care so deeply for their children is good enough parenting. Author Debra Ginsberg expressed her personal feelings on the topic when she wrote: "Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.”
Ginsberg explains it well. It is really hard being a parent and it is really hard to be second-guessing all the time. But perhaps to give it our best shot and to be more relaxed about our efforts is good-enough parenting. And good enough is often described by psychiatrists and psychologists as the best parenting – even if our hearts forever beat outside our chests. This is something our children will never understand until they become parents themselves.
So to all the parents whose children were involved at school over the past few weekends, please take time to congratulate yourselves on a task being accomplished well – your children have done you proud and they are and will be fantastic.
And to those of you for whom Lent is a special time of reflection, abstinence and meditation, may you find the time to contemplate and to consider the things that are important to making the world a more just, a more equitable and a better place for all since where there is charity and love – there is God.