I’ll stand before the Lord of Song With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

These are the words from of one of those great songs from the early 80’s, Hallelujah, written by Leonard Cohen.  For those that can’t reach back that far, you’ll know the song as sung by Jeff Buckley, featured in that wonderful modern cartoon film, Shrek.  It has been covered by all and sundry, and deservedly so – it’s a great song to sing!

As the shades of 2012 fall away, and the bright new dawn of 2013 breaks upon a somewhat sodden Thames Valley, I can’t help feeling inspired.  Like the ‘Hallelujah’, coming to work in Education is a celebration of joyous humanity.  Our school community is of course filled with individuals young and old, and in each in their own way will have doubts and uncertainty about purpose, but absolute willing to give our whole host of challenges their best shot, because that’s the way we like it.

The glow of success still warms us from the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Olympics and Paralympics, not just in terms of performance, but equally in terms of majesty of occasion and warm hearted endeavour.  Lord Coe thanked us all at the closing ceremony “When our time came – Britain we did it right.”  Back to the lyrics – “I’ve heard there was a secret chord …, It goes like this, The fourth, the fifth, The minor fall, the major lift”.  That is indeed the nature of human endeavour, a key stroke here, a tickle there, a time to stand up and be counted, a time just to hold a hand and be of comfort.

If you can’t remember what Claires Court is all about for 2013, then you can catch site of my Christmas Newsletter here.  There are clear and coherent set of steps that we have put under way to keep our school, its provision and the opportunities that creates for pupils, now and in the future, ahead of the mainstream education world.  Yes, we are excited about the acquisition of 48 acres by our junior school, which sensibly developed over the next few years can provide ‘game changing’ facilities for us all.  But buildings don’t make great schools alone, and it is the heart and minds of my teaching colleagues that have worked so hard over the last 18 months to synthesise the best of all worlds for our school community.

This coming term, there are weekdays when I simply won’t get home, because of the extraordinary range of diverse activity on offer and underway.  As a celebration of what outstanding school can do, when examinations are not to the forefront, go no further than January to March in Maidenhead.  We publish this Friday the Sports Circular of 2012, covering pretty much every blade of grass and drop of water, stick, leather and net offered in combat, a remarkable testament to the athletic life we promote.  Fixtures start Saturday, weather permitting, and the roads around Maidenhead already seem to swarm with the bodies of our older athletes raising the heart rate in preparation for competition.

I’ll be at the launch party of our new Town centre based, computing initiative, ‘Hack Club’, with 6 or so of our young computer mentors drawn from Year 9 and 11, teaching the public about what’s best in computing and the digital landscape.  We are all pretty amused that our host coffee shop is called ‘Java&Co’ – one of the languages of the world wide web, and the worst that can happen is a lovely cup of hot coffee and a croissant all-round.  If you want to join us at the bottom of Maidenhead High Street– 10 am here – or of course on-line at www.clairescourt.com, where we hope to running a live feed of the event for a couple of hours to Midday.

Best to end with a bit more of Leonard Cohen: “And even though it all went wrong, I stand before the Lord of song with nothing on my lips but Hallelujah.”  Here’s hoping 2013 lives up to all of our hopes and dreams – Hallelujah to that!

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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