15/06/2020

Your history...

The Nature of History

Events of recent weeks have led to reflections on the past; and its relationship to the present.

 

The nature of history. Once compulsory reading for those involved in its academic study, listing aphorisms such as...

 

There will always between a connection in the way in which men contemplate the past and the way in which they contemplate the present (Henry Buckle 1823-1862)

 

We get our ethics from our history and judge our history by our ethics (Ernst Troeltsch 1865-1923)

 

The task of the historian is to understand the people of the past better than they understood themselves (Herbert Butterfield 1900-1979)

 

Better hindsight deepens insight and makes for a less imperfect foresight (William McNeill 1917-2016)

 

I guess key questions revolve around values.

 

Are there a set of basic moral imperatives which, if you like, remain timeless?

 

Questions that are being posed in so many different ways in this strangest of times. This present moment in our history.

 

Safety or the needs of the economy; public service verses private gain. What really matters? Where’s the balance.

 

The big societal questions still need time to be played out. Inevitably.

 

I would, however, venture that within our own, tight school community and I’m sure education communities more broadly, the somewhat uncomfortable present is nonetheless being defined by a coherent set of past values.

 

It was back in 2012 Ofsted commented that...

 

'a values centred ambition for students inspired by the Headteacher and governing body drives the school’s effective improvement and planning'

 

That comment flowed naturally from a series of related observations about how daily practice, relationships and behaviour were shaped by our adoption of the universal Olympic and Paralympic values as a framework that…

 

'strongly fosters students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development throughout the curriculum'

 

I know it may not always seem like it at the moment, but that ambition does, believe me, remain at the heart of every decision we continue to make.

 

What is incontrovertibly true is that every day I see examples of our young people’s excellence in work completed on line; the collective courage and determination of families working to overcome the challenges of virtual learning. They together offer inspiration for the future.

 

Our history.

 

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