Every week our virtual summer term has been magnificently ‘book-ended’ by our school assembly films.  Through the wonders of technology (and Yellow Balloon) a mainstay of everyday school life truly came into its own, as these twice weekly films were delivered to our Firefly mail boxes, powerfully drawing and holding our entire community together from a distance.  Never have we felt so fortunate to have a school chaplain so in tune with our community who not only shared such thoughtful addresses with us all, but welcomed us ‘into’ her home enlightening us with her innate knowledge, not only of the Bible, but of the world in which we live.  We are all so grateful to Revd. Rebecca Ayers-Harris and the thought and care that has gone into each and every one of her weekly assemblies.

Central to our community online gatherings has of course been our Headmaster, Mr Matt Williams who moved his focus seamlessly from lectern to laptop and has, as the weeks have gone by, presented us all with insightful and inspiring messages from his office in Byne House.  With so many daily challenges to face of our own, Mr Williams has consistently urged us to look out from the comfort and safety of our homes, and consider the wider community; to see the bigger picture. 

For our school it has been important to look ahead too.  Mr Williams and his Senior Management Team have worked tirelessly to ensure that ‘lock-down’ news was not just about the ‘here and now’, but encouraging us all to look to a new future for the School. It was with much anticipation that pupils and staff were presented with our ground breaking new House system, building on the strength of our current structure and adding a fourth house to Arnold, Ken and Denys.  Consultation stretched out across our whole school community from our pupils, staff, OVs and parents: what would this new House be called – Macdonald, Hope or Finch?  It was a close call, however, securing 56% of the overall vote, our new House is to be known as Finch!

So why Finch?  At a time when our wider society is questioning who is worthy of celebrating and why, Mr Williams drew us to the very heart of this controversial discussion whilst at the same time introducing us to this hitherto unknown wife and mother, Frances Finch, whose life was lived out in and around our Warminster campus over 300 years ago.  He poignantly reminded us all that it is perhaps by celebrating the lives of the ‘ordinary’ that we remind ourselves that every life matters;  that all contributions whether carried out in the glare of the limelight or in the quiet heart of a home have the power to significantly change our world for the better.  Over these past months, we have all experienced and witnessed the infinite acts of love and support carried out across our communities and that are in their own way, heroic and worthy of our celebration and remembrance. We are proud to celebrate and remember Frances Finch – a representative of so many lives well lived but not recorded; so many contributions made and not heralded.

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you lived, that is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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