Dear members of the Earlscliffe community,
I hope this finds you well as we lead into the Christmas season.
You may know that Christmas is the only time of the year when we ever close the school to students. For half terms and the Easter and Summer holidays, we remain open for students who wish to stay and run a series of award-winning short courses for internal and external students. There is something rather grim about an empty school – it becomes a collection of somewhat forlorn (if slightly more tidy) buildings, but is nevertheless a reminder of how much spirit and energy our students bring. The school is not the buildings, it is the students.
Thus the students have a chance, every day, to build the school anew. The school will be, for good or ill, what they make it. If they treat the buildings, each other, my colleagues and those who live nearby whom they pass on the streets with respect, then it will be a respectful school. If not, then it will not be.
If they approach all that they do with diligence and determination, and aspire greatly, then it will be an aspirational school. If they don’t, it will be stagnant.
If they have the courage to challenge poor behaviour, even when it is by their best friend, or themselves, then it will be a kind school. If not, then it will be a selfish place.
If they embrace every challenge and dare boldly, it will be a brave school. If not, it will be a place of fear.
But best of all, if they fail, or fail to try, or are disrespectful, or stagnant, or fearful one day, then when each tomorrow comes they have a chance to build the school anew, and to be better, and to do better.
If I ever meet anyone during the Christmas holidays who is a new friend and does not know what I do, I tell them I work in a school. Their next question is often to ask where the school is. I take fun in answering that, at present, the school is scattered over 30 countries around the world, but in early January it will be in Folkestone.
I wish you, and all whom you love, the merriest of Christmases and a very Happy New Year.
Joss Williams, Head Teacher