We started 2022 as the world turned the tide against the pandemic, our thoughts dominated by the need to adjust to new realities. Areas reshaped by the crisis were priorities – from national healthcare and education exigencies, through to urgency amongst policymakers to catalyse remedies for impending climate change catastrophe. Deeper trends began to reassert themselves – inflation worries, political turmoil, warring nations, travel trouble. Our transition to this next normal remained fluid and the issues inter-related, with complex variables influencing outcomes.
Despite this, an overarching sense of optimism underpinned our fabric as a school community. The opportunity to set ambitious goals for our development was not lost. A powerful surge of energy, despite the uncertainty of the world around us, lifted our game. We maintained an open mind to the possibilities that a new year could bring and sharpened our curiosity to learn and grow. And we deepened our resolve to remain united in a world that continued to be unpredictable. Our strong commitment to continuous improvement combined empathy and determination; respect and candour; high expectations and persistent patience. Above all – a deep-seated desire to foster joy in school life continued to cultivate. And the successes have been palpable.
We have connected as a community in so many ways. The Abbey Parents’ Society has harnessed the strong social and emotional bond of our parents, through numerous events which have offered cohesion and joy for their daughters. Our desire to make a meaningful difference to our wider community has been varied and widespread. Choirs and ensembles have shared melodic music-making in impressive venues; our local elderly have been invited to productions and services; university students have offered enrichment to our classrooms; and we have given generously to nearby schools and charities to support their needs. The Abbey’s artistic talent reached the giddy heights of The Saatchi Gallery, whilst our summer Festival of Sport collected accolades in recognition of its innovative reach. And before the year was out, the International Baccalaureate accredited our Junior School with their world-recognised Primary Years Programme authorisation.
And whilst it feels appropriate at year end to acknowledge these efforts and celebrate our successes, let’s remember our mission that permeates such meaningful change and stirs us to act. Life remains a messy, unpredictable, fast-paced place in which our students grow. Central to our philosophy, therefore, is a belief that our jobs are to ignite intellectual curiosity, preparing our children to be global students in an increasingly interdependent world – young people who think critically, analytically and strategically; who feel deeply and empathically; and who act wisely, decisively, and ethically. Our every action is aligned to these values and beliefs, in recognition of the privileged influence we have upon the young women of tomorrow. We strive to emulate impactful change for girls, constantly honing our school experience, whilst cogitating the reasons we choose to make this contribution to education. And each student remains our source of inspiration, leaving indelible stamps on The Abbey journey in their inimitable ways. Any interaction with a member of our Alumnae reminds us how their influence and their reach have no limits.
And so, as we turn our attention to our friends and families this holiday season, we do so with a hint of light and laughter to outshine any uncertainties around the year ahead. At the heart of our endeavour is a moral desire to offer peace, love and joy to our community. We wish you nothing less this Christmastime.