Virtual Open Events
The Abbey is a School full of joy where independence, freedom of thought, and awareness of the world around us flourishes. We believe in innovation, an international outlook, encouraging all our students to use their voice - and as a School, we listen. So welcome to our Virtual Open Events - providing you an opportunity to get a sense of who we are, and meet students and staff in the Junior, Senior School or in Sixth Form along the way.
Book onto one of our live webinars too, and ask questions to our Head of School, staff and students.
(Booking forms can be found at the end of the Virtual Tours)
Last week, our Executive Head Will le Fleming reflected upon the importance of personal connection through these extraordinary times, in the context of our students' learning experiences, our social ties and humanity’s needs. The light and life which such connection brings to our community has been palpable since re-opening the doors to our School. Never has it been more critical for us all to set aside our differences and collaborate at a local, national and international level. Politicians and scientific researchers could learn much from our girls!
Contemplating our shared experiences of these past six months affords us the opportunity to distil that which matters most in our lives. We made the best of a summer in a pandemic, gleaning valuable takeaways and making some unique memories along the way. As we head into Autumn, it is a good time to pause and reflect on the small silver linings and unexpected meaningful moments we have shared.
In preparing for an unpredictable year, which undoubtedly will be full of adjustments and surprises, I have been asking our Junior School students to share one small lesson from their “Covid Summer”. Their thoughts have been reassuringly relatable. We have discussed how the inability to control given situations has offered us the growing recognition of letting go, focusing more on that which is within reach. Travelling to exotic climes was not the only way to get away and rejuvenate; some wondered whether constant travel was perhaps an escape rather than living in alignment. Furthermore, patience was a value which many students have grown to recognise. When the world hit pause, they understood that not everything needed to be done in record time and that not everything needed to be perfect. Taking action felt better than doing nothing, but without the constant need to do more. Many of us cherished the opportunity to put down our stress and when we felt overwhelmed, to allow nature to recharge our batteries. The simple act of a walk by the river, or sharing a book in the park became a valuable source of unplugging from a frenetic, uncertain world. Technology supported our ability to continue to learn together, as well as nurturing relationships when physical closeness was not possible. Restructuring our schedules to prioritise time with each other allowed us to rediscover the beauty of having our families. I hope, like me, you had the opportunity to learn how creative and resilient our daughters are.
Personally, minimising the melange of modern day living boosted mindfulness, through ridding myself of belongings and habits that were no longer serving me. With less moving around, travelling and socialising, I was presented with the opportunity to be with my thoughts and better connect with those for whom I care. Reduced mental clutter granted me an appreciation of the important aspects of my life. Through this continuing time of change, I am empowered by the simple values which our students remind me of on a daily basis: those of compassion, humility and confidence. In reflecting upon our old lives and the growing sense of how this new life is evolving, we can honour the curiosities, voice and hearts of our young learners through these simple lenses.
So as you support your daughter’s transition into their new class, School or like me, University, I encourage you to do so with courage and optimism. Our job as parents and educators is never done. However, the moral strength which has grown through the shared experiences of this pandemic and the unplanned curriculum of hope which remains central to our efforts, will equip them well to continue to adapt and thrive.
Head, Junior School