Luke and you will find it.

Yet again, I start with an apology. I missed a very important date last weekend, which for some people has almost a religious significance. Last Saturday, the 4th May or May the 4th, was an incredibly important day for all those Star Wars fans out there. You might know why or be able to work it out? There’s almost a religious zeal for those people who follow the Star Wars franchise. And that’s no accident. It’s not the marketing or the promotion of the films, over the generations, it’s more the storylines and characters, with their allusion to faith, which holds many and can bring some comfort (of sorts) to devotees. Most of us do need something tangible to stand behind or believe in. That can come in the whole range of forms. For some, it will be the more traditional (historical) faith(s), for others it will be something different, possibly obscure, possibly seemingly strange. Whatever ‘floats your boat’ – as they say.

It takes all sorts. Does it really matter that some of us find our understanding of the world by less traditional means? I guess not. We find our way through these things and make sense of the world through our own mechanisms and beliefs. The important thing, for me, is not what route we take or road map we use but it is how we conduct ourselves on that journey. Some of us wear our faith quite lightly, others more obviously. Again, the position you take doesn’t matter. What really matters is what those beliefs teach us about the world in which we live and how we should conduct ourselves in that context.

We, in our collective, in the schools and in the college, have a strong and clear vision for what education should look like in and for our communities. Our ethos, our approach, is built upon ensuring that our pupils and students should get the very best educational offer, whatever their disposition, whatever background, whatever their beliefs. We do that in the understanding that we have the unwavering support of the overwhelming majority of our communities.

If that sounds zealous, then so be it. Few things change lives, have a more lasting impact, than a high-quality educational provision and experience. We believe in what we are endeavouring to do. Our families, our communities believe in what we are trying to do. That is recognised and has been ratified by those external agencies, to whom we are accountable.

‘Star Wars is more fairy tale than true science fiction’. Mark Hamill

I hope you can feel energised by those beliefs and just a little bit of sunshine. We all have a tough few weeks ahead of us, working with our children and young people, as many prepare for and sit those external assessments and examinations.