It’s back to school, finally, for a very short end to the Lent term. Admittedly, while the school buildings and playing fields of Sedbergh have stood silent, and which in more normal times would have reverberated with the sound of pupils going about their business, academic studies have continued by way of the wonders of digitisation and, more so, through the dedication and hard work of staff.
A school, like a church, is nothing without its people. While we often reflect on the cohort of pupils, as a proxy for our own experiences of Sedbergh, the vision for the School in its modern form, the curation of its ethos, its longevity, its future, and the values with which we are all imbued as a result of our formative years, are derived, not from the buildings, nor from the many friends that we made, but from the commitment and enthusiasm of staff who did their best with the raw material they were given to shape us into what we are today.
They taught us much more than academics and sporting prowess. They imparted wisdom, humour, a sense of right and wrong, and sometimes even an understanding of human nature. Of course, each had their own way of delivering their message, adding both idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, but this added to the richness of our experience and helped us to become more three-dimensional, interesting people as a result.
When we are young, this legacy is not so clearly defined. But as we get older, we start to recognise the true value of their teaching. So often, and many years after leaving, people return to the School, having stood upon the summit of their own endeavours, to say thank you to those who provided such inspiration and guidance in their youth.
Recently, Martin Valentine, Brandon Glover, and Chris Morgan, three fine and respected members of staff, passed away. Each will be greatly missed, by their colleagues, and by those they taught. They are part of a great body of people who together have enhanced the lives of thousands. Those that make up the OS Club are testament to their legacy.
So, as School starts to return to a level of normality after a most difficult year, I propose a ‘shout out’ for the staff of Sedbergh. Well done and thank you; without you there would be no School.
Jan van der Velde
Chairman, OS Club