LEAV­ING GIFTS AND MOV­ING ON

It’s an emo­tional time at Bee­ston as the school year ends

EDP Norfolk - - Education -

At the leavers’ disco, the sweep­ing melody and stir­ring lyrics of Fred­die Mer­cury in These are

the days of our lives – how­ever cheesy – al­ways gets me.

In the case of Bee­ston Hall par­ents, as well as their chil­dren, say emo­tional farewells not only to each other, but also to a chap­ter in their lives. Speech day passes in a flurry of prizes and leav­ing gifts, hood­ies and tears, af­ter what is hope­fully a prank-free leavers’ din­ner – and then is gone.

Rou­tines which may have lasted as long as a decade EDP NOR­FOLK Au­gust 2017 come abruptly to an end.

It is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone. The ups and downs of a child’s de­vel­op­ment through these for­ma­tive years will have meant mo­ments of anx­i­ety for us all (pupils, par­ents and teach­ers) be­cause life rarely goes smoothly. This is as it should be, be­cause such a prep school path has some risk; the higher the hur­dle, the richer the re­ward.

This is where teach­ers come in and, to a de­gree, other par­ents at the school where re­spect, trust, and deep mu­tual af­fec­tion are built up. They are of­ten the light­ning rod down which the emo­tions, of ei­ther a par­ent or child – or both, are con­ducted in the face of a drama, real or imag­ined.

The tears on speech day, as fi­nal good­byes are said, are ac­knowl­edge­ments of those close bonds in the lives of our chil­dren, as they draw grad­u­ally away from their par­ents, en­abling them to form and main­tain in­de­pen­dent and sig­nif­i­cant re­la­tion­ships of their own.

Many may not look back again for decades but hav­ing these care­free child­hood days to treasure at prep school is a great gift.

Fred de Falbe, head­mas­ter at Bee­ston Hall School, West Run­ton

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