Headmaster’s Blog 03/11/17

My assembly this week focused on time. With the clocks having gone back over the weekend and the children returning to school and having to wake up earlier than they have for ten days or so, it was appropriate and ‘timely!’ Sorry. The children walked into the hall to Pink Floyd’s Time, which led to a discussion of how light was dispersed through a prism as per the Dark Side of the Moon album cover. I was hugely impressed that the children were able to identify the song and perhaps more so by the clear explanation of the process of refraction. It was completely irrelevant to the theme of the assembly, but nonetheless a good insight into the knowledge that our children possess!

I then showed images of a painting of a man from bygone time, a clock and a picture of the Great War trenches. I had expected to challenge Mr Baldwin to identify the painting, but was amazed when the first hand to go up correctly identified him as Benjamin Franklin. It was a quite remarkable show of knowledge within just a few moments.

The pictures were linked by daylight saving time. Franklin first thought about the idea of changing the clocks while living in Paris when he realised that many Parisians slept well into the daylight hours. The trenches were relevant as Britain quickly followed Germany by adopting day-light saving. It was an attempt to increase working hours so that they could continue industrial war to greater effect. Of course, we have continued to maintain this bi-annual event ever since.

Between last Sunday and the clocks going forward next year we apparently have 126 days. I thought that if we didn’t alter our sleeping pattern and somehow gained an extra hour a day, imagine what could we do with it (please give me some slack on the logic!) I then explained to the children some of the things they could do with the extra hour, to include: writing letters of thanks to people who inspire them; doing something nice for a family member; volunteering for a charity; extra prep; learning a foreign language to a competent standard.

It is fascinating to consider what we do with an hour individually and as a world population. Apparently, we cut down 3000 trees to make paper; we each laugh once on average; we each exchange 1.5 million bacteria with others; 15,000 babies are born; our hearts beat 4166 times; our blood travels up to 7 million miles around our bodies while our kidneys filter 125 pints of it; we breath 1000 times and intake 100 gallons or air; 1 oz. of gas escapes us. It was quite a thought to consider how much gas had escaped everyone in the hall during assembly! As I read through the list, the world population clock was ticking by on the screen as the population steadily rose. Google it – it is fascinating!

The point of this was to show the children what they can do with their time both in school and outside of it. Every second counts and in every second something significant can be achieved, or at least worked towards. I hope that all Daneshill children use their time to the best of their abilities and that they gain from each and every experience. The world is an amazing place and there is much to discover, learn, achieve and support. We must encourage them to use their time proactively and wisely.

The lyrics of Time include the line: “And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.

No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.”

I am sure that many of us can relate to that phrase in one way or another. My hope is that the children who leave this school look back and do so having explored every opportunity offered.