Head Master's Welcome - September 2020

After a tumultuous few months it has been wonderful to welcome Lancing’s young people back to the College. The place was built for them and it is something joyous to have the buildings and quads buzzing with all their energy and eagerness to re-engage. We have relished celebrating the fact that justice was done when it came to results at GCSE and A Level (of which more in the articles attached) and this has provided a real boost of determination and ambition as we approach a new year of living and learning together. Everyone has embraced the special measures put in place to minimise the risks of infection and we are swiftly adjusting to the ‘new normal’.

Amidst all the difference it was good to see our traditional launch events of the year take place, albeit with necessary alterations to keep COVID-safe. Although we were not able to welcome everyone in the traditional Whole-School Sung Eucharist, Sunday’s Commissioning of the Prefects saw our first Chapel service of the term and they are now well and truly in role. They promise to be a fine bunch and will serve their peers with distinction.

The school’s socially distanced walk across the South Downs took place on a gorgeous morning – rarely has our environment looked so ravishing. Whether new to the College or the old hands of the Upper Sixth, all our pupils displayed their strong sense of community and a festive pleasure in participation. Spirits were high, significant funds were raised for our friends and partners in Malawi and it felt right to bring the community together in this way.

In my opening Assembly of the year, the emphasis was on the need to be thoughtful and collaborative, thinking of others more than ever as we go about our daily business in the College. Every school year is different, but of course this one has all sorts of elements of uncharted territory. The unknown and uncertain can be troubling, but they also generate the opportunity to explore and I asked the school to think of this year as a mutual voyage of discovery, even adventure, and something to enjoy together. I will conclude this first newsletter of the year with words taken directly from the end of my Assembly, which itself quotes the poet John O’Donohue:

‘As we undertake this journey, kindness and generosity of spirit need to rule the day at every turn.

   If you remain generous,

   Time will come good;

   And you will find your feet

   Again on fresh pastures of promise,

   Where the air will be kind

   And blushed with beginning.

As we start a new year we are working collectively to make sure that the Lancing air is kind And blushed with beginning.’

It is good to be back.

With my best wishes and in the hope that you are safe and well,

Dominic Oliver