Wednesday 24th August 2022

What a week it's been! We have had an impressive number of students participating in a full range of sporting and cultural activities this winter. This has resulted in unprecedented levels of skill development and success. Team spirit, sportsmanship and school pride have been high. Thankfully, we were able to celebrate the many fantastic individual and team performances at our first full-school Chapel service and assembly since August last year.

At the service, Reverend Nicol shared a line from a haka which seems particularly appropriate to our school community at the moment :

“Tō mana, taku mana”

My mana is your mana.

We are saying that, as a community, we are connected by how we win and lose, and how we celebrate. There can be enormous mana in doing all of these things well.

I have had a copy of the poem ‘If’ by English poet Rudyard Kipling in my diary for years. The poem is written as paternal advice to the poet's son, and as I watch your sons find their way through adolescence, I reflect on its wisdom. You might be able to share this with your boys and discuss how it might apply to them in their daily lives. 



If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Kindest regards

Neil Garry