Back to School

We always enjoy welcoming students back to QEH but this year it feels particularly special.  A special welcome to all our new pupils, including our Year 7 group who posed for the traditional photo on the school steps this morning.

Mr Heathcote kicked off the new academic year with a whole school assembly, in which he talked about the power of belonging and Whakapapa.

Whakapapa is a Maori idea which embodies our need to belong.  For the Maori people it represents a powerful spiritual belief - that each Maori is part of an unbroken and unbreakable chain of people who share a sacred identity.  The book links this idea of the benefits of societies and communities having a shared identity to the success of teams and businesses and communities such as ours.  Gareth Southgate, the England manager, wanted his England football team to draw inspiration from this idea - an unbreakable team with a shared identity - and gave the squad a book called Belonging by Owen Eastwood, in which Mr Eastwood talks about Whakapapa.

Mr Heathcote revealed that he had read this in the holidays and it was clear to him how relevant this idea of Whakapapa was to QEH - this shared sense of belonging was present at the school as well.

QEH has our long and valued history, our unique and timeless motto, our shared purpose in our desire to create a safe, supportive and challenging environment for all to thrive, and the bonds, friendships and experiences that students have at QEH generates a powerful sense of belonging and togetherness.

He ended the assembly saying, "As we begin a new term, and in many ways, a reset and a new beginning, let's come together with that shared belonging."

"Whakapapa. We all belong here."