Category: History

Ice, International Schools and Madame Doubtfire: a snapshot of a day, and a lesson in appreciation 

I derive great pleasure from the deep insights that come from making unexpected connections and links. Whilst I very much value (and enjoy creating) structure, organisation and routine, I robustly value the creative perspectives that emerge from changes and variations to daily patterns, because they add dimensions and layers of innovative understanding and appreciation to …

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When the volcano rumbles … what history teaches us about our present and future

Sometimes it can feel as though we are living in unprecedentedly insecure times. The turbulent surprise of Brexit, the uncertainty of potential presidential leadership in the US, the threat of home-grown, lone wolf terrorist attacks … it can be enough to make us want to batten down the hatches and retreat. History, however, teaches us …

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The legacy of a great Headmaster – peace on earth

I have just returned home from the beautiful memorial service held on Saturday at Daneshill School, Hampshire, for Simon Spencer, who so suddenly and tragically died on 31 July 2016. It was packed – standing room only – and testament to Simon’s charismatic presence and the role he has played on the educational stage in …

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Quaker schools: enduring values in a modern world

Faith schools are back in the news again, with the publication of the UK government’s Education green paper proposing (amongst other things) that faith schools should be able to select students largely on religious grounds rather than with the limitations currently in place. Faith schools come in a number of different forms, however, and my …

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Leonardo DiCaprio and the misnaming of ‘The Revenant’

Well, The Revenant is actually very good indeed. You probably already know this; regular readers of this blog will know that in matters cinematic, I am usually a late adopter and an opportunist; essentially, I usually wait to watch new film releases until a time and place where watching a movie is really the only …

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Social mobility: the power of the Flying Scotsman

The Flying Scotsman came from London to Edinburgh on Saturday, and a friend of a friend posted a video of the train’s progress as it passed through Berwick-upon-Tweed, just short of the Scottish border. 200 people – young and old – turned out to watch it, to film it and to wave. What drew them …

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Marie Curie, the Edinburgh Fringe, and the Women of America

Playing now at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the final instalment in Tangram Theatre’s ‘Scientrilogy’ – a series of three one-man plays about the lives of great scientists. Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein have debuted in previous years; 2015 has marked the appearance of the great female scientist, Marie Curie. If you have the opportunity …

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So proud of our girls!

This International Day of the Girl Child has been the most amazing experience at Ascham. It was preceded by a week of awareness-raising, as we discussed the significance of 11th October – only the second ever International Day on which the girl and her latent power to change the world have sat at the heart …

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Walking the world and keeping up the pressure: looking ahead to the International Day of the Girl

As has been well-documented in this blog, Thursday 11th October 2012 was the very first ever International Day of the Girl. It was a day that was celebrated across the world; in its honour the London Eye turned pink, as did the Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids. Plan, the international children’s charity instrumental in making …

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Learning leadership from the most impoverished of women

I recently attended a dinner in aid of The Hunger Project and their work in seeking to end world hunger by empowering people – and especially women – in poverty-stricken areas to make change happen. In the course of their work, they have discovered something that should not surprise us, but might nonetheless challenge our …

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