Blue Sky Thinking

Last Saturday, we welcomed many of you to Wellington for Speech Day. It was great to see so many families there as we celebrated the work of our incredible students and bid farewell to some of our staff leavers. For those unable to make it, I thought I would take this opportunity to reiterate some of the thoughts expressed in my address. Below is an adapted version of my Speech Day ‘Welcome,’ printed at the front of the programme.

Speech Day Welcome 2019

Speech Day at Wellington is a day like no other, and this year was no exception. Those who witnessed it were treated to a riot of colour: from the kaleidoscopic costumes of ‘West Side Story’ to the ‘Blue Stockings’ of Cambridge, to the yellow-brick road of Oz, the show was bursting with brilliance. The Wellingtones provided a calming note with their rendition of ‘Purple Rain’, before ‘Mr Blue Sky’ brought the house (if not the big top) down.

With such exuberance on show, it is easy to forget the challenges we face. The truth is that these are interesting times for the independent sector. We are frequently reminded of the dark clouds that hang above, and just as frequently reminded of what our response should be. The message of my address was a simple one: our response must be to hold on to our core values. There has never been a more important time to do so.

At Wellington, we have sought to develop students who possess a sense of social responsibility, who understand empathetic leadership, who display courage in their decision-making, and act with kindness towards others. Such qualities define a Wellington education and, as you think back to the Speech Day spectacle, or watch the highlights (CLICK HERE), I encourage you to reflect on the values that underpin everything you see, values that guide every member of our community, from the students both performing and supporting, to the teaching staff who show such commitment and creativity, day in, day out; the gardeners who have worked tirelessly to beautify the grounds; the matrons, the housekeepers, and the Security and Events teams who make this day run smoothly.

Life at Wellington is one huge team effort, and Speech Day is the day on which we see this in its most crystalline form.

The skies won’t always be blue, but I hope that the students who pass through Wellington will leave with resilience, with self-belief and, above all, with the understanding that it is through empathy and teamwork that we will make a difference in the world.

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