Our assembly theme for this half term has changed from ‘being outward facing’ to ‘being inward facing’. To that end, it was wonderful to have two visitors in assemblies this week, explaining how their two quite different passions both illustrated and supported our theme for the boys. On Monday Professor Aragon, Professor of Genetics at Imperial College, London (and Prep parent!) gave a fascinating and insightful presentation on Bonsai trees, and he even brought some beautiful specimens from his amazing collection to display in front of the boys in the James Hall whilst he talked. Professor Aragon explained that his understanding of science and biology plays an important part in how he nurtures his wonderful collection of Bonsais. He also very astutely observed that a hobby such as his provides him with plenty of opportunities to be both outward and inward facing, as he considers how his plants occupy time and space (a traditional Japanese idea) and how much careful thought he must also devote to looking after them.
On Wednesday we all very much enjoyed hearing from Vaibhav Neela, a pupil at Hampton School, who has written and successfully published his own adventure novel aimed at pre-teen and teen readers. It was so inspirational to hear Vaibhav explain where his quiet, inward passion for writing comes from, alongside how he recognises that being suitably inward facing at times can produce something that great numbers of others are also able to enjoy.
Finally, this morning the boys in 4W were both entertaining and very uplifting as they explained what being inward facing means to them, and the advantages they understand that come from taking time to reflect upon both who they are and what makes them tick. It was, all in all, a very moving explanation from them of how they see themselves growing and developing. Long may such useful introspection last!