One of the things we highlight at Heritage is that each of us, as we go through life and learning, has the opportunity to leave behind us a legacy, or a heritage. The question is put, “What sort of legacy do you want to leave behind? What will others see when you are no longer standing in front of them?”
I came across this poem – Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley (he had to use his full name to distinguish himself from a contemporary sculptor called Percy Shelley, apparently).
The poem refers to the remains of a statue discovered in Egypt in the early 1800s. The name Ozymandias is an old Greek name for the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II.
The poem captures something of the tragedy that, apart from Ozy’s claim and threat, nothing remains of his influence:
“Nothing besides remains … lone and level sands stretch far away”
As we seek a heritage, a legacy of our own, history warns that some types of legacy last, while others are quickly forgotten. Mighty nations come and go, economies wax and wane (some admittedly seem to wane and wane again!). What lasts is the imprint we leave on others (family, friends, associates, even strangers) and the contribution towards a meaningful purpose beyond ourselves.
Purpose drives us to do life well. A transcendent purpose drives us to be the best we can possibly be in all things. If we can approach life with the assuraSeniornce that it can be meaningful, purposeful, even God-ordained and significant, then we can approach it whole-heartedly (unlike Macbeth’s walking shadow, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing). We can give it our all and know that, come what may, we live within a purpose that is sure and eternal. It can put all our successes, failures, joys and pains within a frame or worldview that is unchanging and secure, that won’t let us down when the pressure is on.
As we get a grip on 2019, let’s do so with a mind to do it well and encourage those around us on the journey. My encouragement to our Heritage students continues to be “Do the very best you can at whatever you do, and you will become the best you can be, whatever that is”, and the corollary is that we as parents, teachers and significant adults in their lives need to model that for them.
A vital aspect to running smoothly is having a well communicated set of clear expectations and policies. Over the next several weeks we will be revising and publishing a few of these key policies on our website. We’ll let you know when they’re there so you can go and familiarise yourself with them, and ask questions or make recommendations as necessary.
Our clubs and Activities continue to be a significant part of the Heritage life, and we are working hard to maximise the effectiveness, engagement, and opportunities for students to make the most of their involvement in them.
Our Interact Club remains active and doing some great work with Tichakunda (raising funds and even organising to have our Art Department get involved with the children there … we’ll send updates as and when things happen!) as well as organising and taking part in several meaningful ventures during the year.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
This term we have the inter-house cross country and athletics competitions, and if you can come down on 4 and 6 March, please do so … the children really value support and involvement from family and friends, and you might also encounter the opportunity to show them how it was done in your day when it’s time for the Parents’ Races! There will be burgers and such on sale to keep the munchies at bay, proceeds going toward our sport department events and resources.
There might be a bit of entertaining rivalry on display amongst the teachers to enjoy as well. So come along, support your children and enjoy being part of the school community!
Senior Department Headteacher