Thoughts from Rachel Dent
I was delighted to be able to spend a wonderful evening in the company of Professor A.C. Grayling as he gave an inspirational lecture to our Sixth Form girls about the importance of the Humanities in both education and life. As an English teacher this struck a huge chord with me. Of particular importance in relation to this was the joy to be found in reading a book and the diverse and imaginative worlds it allows us to enter. I agreed wholeheartedly with Professor Grayling when he hypothesised that the human condition consists of that unique part of us which allows us to experience everything from intense exultation to unrelenting agony.
I am delighted to see this enthusiasm for the Humanities and within that the prioritising of nurturing the human condition throughout The Abbey in so many different guises. From those following the trials and tribulations of Odysseus in Ancient Greek to the female situation in the 19th century in Sense and Sensibility – currently the staff book club read - there is clear evidence of the literary soul being fed and within it an ever-greater understanding of what makes us human.
As we approach Valentine's day and pause to celebrate all that is special about family and those we love, I encourage you to revisit your literary favourites. I am a great believer that books offer us a wonderful opportunity to learn a great deal about humanity and in particular the importance of love.