Well, it looks like we’ve got to the end of another term. All of you have survived and some of you may well have even prospered. In the rapidly changing environment within which we live and work and in the context of the ever-shifting sands of COVID it is easy to forget how much we have had to face, how many challenges we’ve had to overcome and how much progress we’ve made just since the turn of this calendar year. I’m not going to take the opportunity here to list those challenges but I do want to, once again, thank you all for facing all of those challenges head-on and making the best of the situation we have found ourselves in.
And we can look forward to an Easter break now. Some of you will have, as you do every year, given something up; you have fasted over the period of Lent. Next Sunday that period of Lent will end. The whole concept of fasting, can be now seen by many people, whether they are religious or not, as a personal challenge; for example, to give up chocolate or alcohol. However, throughout history, in the major global religions fasting is seen as an important element of faith, which allows for personal reflection. As we come out of the Easter break many of our Muslim friends and colleagues will enter a period of fasting, as Ramadan is scheduled to begin on the 12th April. The parallels between the period of Lent and Ramadan are clear. If you have been able to fast or you do intend to fast during Ramadan you have my best wishes and utmost admiration. Your personal discipline and faith are to be respected and recognised.
Other than my annual giving up the coffee (although that didn’t happen this year) I’m not sure that I have the personal discipline required to maintain a serious fast. On the whole, I try to live and behave in moderation – as many of us do. However, when moderation becomes abstinence things get increasingly difficult.
Over the Easter break I, like you all, will maintain that moderation as we slowly but surely move out of lockdown. I will be making sure, with my family, that I adhere to the loosening guidelines in place from next Monday and I’ll do all that I can to avoid social gatherings. Maybe that’s not lockdown, it might be just me.
We are moving forward in school and in college. We are moving forward as a community. We are moving forward as a nation. Let’s hope the weather is good to us over the next couple of weeks and we can feel that spring-like step.
‘Tomorrow will be a good day’ Captain Sir Tom Moore
Thank you, once again, for all that you’ve done in support of our children and young people and, of equal importance, for your support for your son or daughters’ school or college, the teachers and all the other professional support colleagues who offer an incredible commitment to the care and education of the children and young people of this community.