Choice and Control

The Head's Study

Many of this week’s events have shared the themes of choice and control. Talking to the Senior School about the invasion of Ukraine on Monday and then the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the second of four climate change reports on Tuesday inevitably led me to question whether I would be triggering too much anxiety.

However, these events also remind us how important it is to act, both to educate ourselves but also to do what we can within our communities to be catalysts for change for the good. Through action we can control our anxiety.

So, well done to those students who approached me to volunteer organising a fundraising day for Ukraine refugees. So often I remind the girls that Royal High School Bath is their school, they need to make their mark and leave their legacy. Please support Thursday’s events as much as you can.

So too with climate change. On Monday our Eco Prefects shared the work they have done this year to improve our carbon footprint at Royal High, but also to share pupils’ concerns with others, including at COP26 in Glasgow. Once again, we talked about controlling anxiety by taking action. I reminded everyone about Damon Gameau’s documentary ‘2040’ that we watched earlier in the year that highlights the innovators and changemakers who have drawn on their expertise to drive workable solutions to climate change.

As is often the case, we have a choice and with that choice comes responsibility. And here I come to our third theme of the week – reading. It was wonderful to celebrate all that is good and joyous about books and reading at the 25th World Book Day on Thursday. Yet we must also use the power of books and reading to educate ourselves so that we better understand the events of this week. More than ever we must help young people navigate their understanding of confusing issues. Or, to put it a better way ...

Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt