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Prep Headmaster’s Blog: The value of humility

I chose the Prep School assembly this week to reflect upon the achievements of the renowned scientist Sir Isaac Newton and, by doing so, consider the value of humility. I began by showing them three things that were all connected to the great man; namely the apple, a glass prism and a £2 coin - and see if anyone got the link.  Of course, they did, which was a good start to proceedings!

Sir Isaac Newton is probably best known for his explanation of the laws of gravity, with the story going that his interest was stimulated when he was sitting in a garden one day and saw an apple fall to the ground.  His fascination centred around the fact that the apple fell in a straight line. His gravitational theory was born! In 1668 he built the first reflecting telescope by using a mirror to reflect the image of stars. He also discovered how white light can be divided into the colours of the spectrum as seen in a rainbow.

However, his connection with a £2 coin was not as well-known.  The inscription around the outside of this coin reads ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’.  Newton is often regarded as a genius, however, he always recognised the work of those who had preceded him and paved the way for his success.

These words ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ were taken from a letter he wrote to fellow scientist, Robert Hooke, where he humbly claimed that all of his success had been built on the work of others.  His exact words were, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

This brought us back to the idea of what it meant to show true humility and how we can all encourage someone else today through our thoughts and actions - a very positive message to take us into Lent where we can use this as a focus for “Making a Difference”.

The week in school has been very busy.  It was good to see the Year 3 Parents at their consultation meetings and the whole school engaged in various pancake races on Shrove Tuesday!  There has been lots of sport for an incredible number of children across the Prep School, despite the inclement conditions.  I must pay special tribute to the U11 Girls who played valiantly in their U11 IAPS tournament yesterday; coming across snow, sleet and finally some very wintry sunshine.  I hope they've got the feeling back in their fingers!

At the same time the U13 Boys Hockey team were competing in their Regional IAPS tournament in Croydon.  I am delighted to report that they have subsequently qualified for the National Finals next week in Cheltenham - a wonderful achievement!  Congratulations to the boys and Mr Sloman and a thank you to Miss Westwood for assisting with the coaching on the day.

The Year 7/8 play "Singing in the Rain" continues to develop nicely and preparations are well under way for Swing into Spring.
Have a good week

Simon James