Guardians of the Galaxy...

(And things even more important)



I didn't get to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy film until Half Term. I have to say I loved it! Loved it from the opening scene when Baby Groot (the one that looks like the tree for the uninitiated) joyfully and obliviously dances along to ELO's Mr Blue Sky whilst his fellow Guardians battle a terrifying space monster...

Guardians of the Galaxy

...to the post-credit scenes where a sulky, teenage Groot monosyllabically grunts his signature 'I am Groot' as he remains welded to his 3-D mobile device. Priceless!

As a Headteacher who, in his increasingly advancing years, always tries - sometimes desperately - to show that he remains tenaciously in touch with youth culture, I would have littered post-Half Term assemblies with parallels from the movie. Unfortunately, the public exam schedule prevents me from doing so, so I'll just have to indulge myself here instead....

Guardians of the Galaxy

Firstly, what a celebration of diversity! A winning team that comprises, amongst others, a half-human half-celestial Star Lord, a genetically modified raccoon bounty-hunter, a blue-skinned Buckner and a tree-like humanoid! Queue references to the the developing identity of a year group or school community made up of hundreds of uniquely different individual young people; maybe one for the new Year 7 assembly I'll do in July when we welcome a fresh cohort of students from over thirty different primary schools, all proudly resplendent in their different uniforms but about to come together for the first time as the unified future of our school?!

Secondly, a triumph of restorative practice. Previously, many of these diverse characters had been in conflict with each other but, through taking the time to understand their different perspectives and shared experience they come to common, empathic understanding and appreciation of their respective positions. Exactly an approach which aim to take here when, inevitably, young people have their differences from time to time and we seek to positively and proactively resolve them...

Guardians of the Galaxy

And finally what about the role of schools as the Guardians of a shared set of values; a common, moral purpose? Be that across a year group, House or the wider school community. We can collectively set the tone for behaviour and conduct so that what we fundamentally believe in can be safeguarded from external influence or pressure, irrespective of the latest social media - or other - fad or fashion.

And I think there's also a wider context of guardianship which goes beyond any assembly message that I would share with with students.

In times of uncertainty, and where the external resources that may have previously provided wider emotional welfare support are increasingly scarce, schools do frequently act as the one stable reference point in young people's lives. It's perhaps in this respect that the concepts of protection and defence - central to that guardianship - are at their most subtle but, at the same time, most significant. Some relevant and objectively balanced pre-Election observations here, I feel...

Guardian link



So maybe not a guardian of the Galaxy, but certainly that of the future well being and rounded development of our young people.... What could be more important?