For this All Hallows’ Eve weekly message I thought I’d look at the power of ceremony, tradition and the regular observance of yearly milestones.
Each of the major religions and all nations have their annual celebrations and commemorations and ceremonies. And smaller subgroups of humanity have them as well social groups, sporting teams and families all have their shared memories of the great and memorable events of the past, and their regular celebrations of the present.
John Colet School, with our regular calendar of annual events, is no exception. Some of these connect us to our civilisation and our nation: Easter, Christmas, Anzac Day. Some celebrate the unique quality and character of the school: Teachers’ Day, Founder’s Day, and the Shakespeare Festival.
These celebrations, and the formalities of Assemblies, Speech Night and the various other regular events of the year, foster a sense of continuity, and the firm foundations upon which the school stands.
Further support for this sense of continuity is given by the school emblems the crest and motto, the creed, and the school’s vision, mission and values. Keeping these alive and in the forefront of our consciousness are important not only for their “ceremonial” value, but because they express timeless principles as well.
The teachers, for example, have been considering the elements of the school creed including the promise to “live by the fine regulations of creation.” These fine regulations appear as simple principles Stillness, Truthfulness, Care and so on, as well as Strength, Courage, Reason, Justice.
As a practical matter our aim is to fulfill the promise by being a school of a few easily remembered principles, rather than a thousand forgettable rules and procedures.