Brave and magnificent

I hope that you and family were able to enjoy ample rest and sunshine over the Easter break. Pupils and staff have certainly returned very positively to school, eager to embrace all that the Trinity Term has to offer. I really love this time of year, as the world wakes up to spring and the signs of colourful new life all around us.

The Back (as the area behind school is known) is back for fun in the sun, as we encourage pupils to get outside at lunchtime and to make the most of the fresh air and of outdoor activities.

Outside the Refectory, Tom’s Space is now furnished with picnic tables and, as the flowers begin to bloom, is looking really beautiful.

Many of you will remember that Tom passed away almost two years ago, aged 15, after a long and very courageous battle with a brain tumour. He was a much-loved member of our community, and those who were close to him recall him as a cheerful and lively friend, with a great sense of humour and a determination to make the most of his many talents and opportunities.

Tom’s Space is a very positive legacy which he has gifted to all of us. Pupils are welcome to sit there quietly and reflect, and they can also take their lunch out there in the sunshine, filling it with happy chatter. We also intend to use it as a space for gatherings and celebrations, as Tom would have been pleased for us to do.

We are very grateful to Tom’s friends and to Mike Hood, our Head Groundsman, for their thoughtful and colourful design. Tom’s parents chose a Charlie Mackesy quotation for above the water feature, which they felt best reflected his approach to life, even at its most challenging:

‘Sometimes just getting up and carrying on is brave and magnificent’.

A special four-legged companion gave him so much of that positive courage, and she visited the school yesterday with Tom’s mother, known to many of our pupils from their LGJS days as Mrs Ellis. Maude, the family cockapoo, is also known as ‘Maudey Moo’, and that is the name of a beautiful children’s book, written by one of our parents, Kirsty Volpe, and illustrated by our very talented Junior School marketing assistant, Katie Wood.

We welcomed them to an assembly yesterday morning, aspects of which were also filmed by ITV Central; we have been informed that the news coverage will be over the next week and we will send a ParentMail when we have the details.

I commend the book to you (“a story of bravery, loss, love and hope”) and proceeds will go to Rainbows Hospice, who were so supportive towards Tom and his family of Karen, Will and James, who now live as ‘four minus one, and Maude’. You will find further information in a ParentMail to follow.

I send my very best wishes for the Bank Holiday weekend and to our Muslim families for the celebration of Eid.

John Watson