Yesterday we buried a time capsule in a cavity under the new block and it provided a genuine moment of reflection; I wrote a letter to the future to try and encapsulate current Britain. I had never written anything like that before (well probably not since I was at school), and I found it a strangely emotional experience.
I wrote 4 main sections in the end:
Global: The focus was on how we are still very North Atlantic dominated in our thinking, and that our focus seems to remain on relations with Russia, the Middle East and China; I contrasted that with the relative ignorance of the population about events in other parts of the World, and at random I focussed on the current state of India, Venezuela, and South Sudan. Additionally, I wrote about environmentalism, and how I can’t envisage any serious change until we recognise that environmental damage is caused by our consumerism.
National: I wrote about the last 5 years of politics, and the issues with Brexit; in particular, I focussed on whether the government would now be able to heal the wounds of the last 5 years across the country and reform a new consensus after 31st January. Also, a political reflection that as an issue, it has polarised the country but not along partisan lines.
Romford: I described the Romford I remember growing up and how it has changed to feel more like a London Borough; a reflection on the challenges and opportunities that will bring to Havering, and especially the future after Cross Rail.
Education: I tried to encapsulate a system that has far greater autonomy than when I started, but is coupled with far greater regulation. I also reflected on the polarised debate in education between progressive and traditionalists; I did then get soppy about how I know that colleagues want to make a difference to children’s lives regardless of their place on that continuum.
Finally, given that the building is expected to last approximately 80 years (it will probably be longer), I wrote a paragraph to that generation of students to track down my children who will be very old men by then…I wonder if that will happen?
The capsule was packed with photos, maps, modern electronic items (or dummy versions thereof), and student opinions; I really hope the future World does it justice. My thanks to Mr Barrow for organising it.
Finally, next week commemorates the 75th anniversary of the discovering of Auschwitz; rather like we did with the centenary of World War One (apologies to Year 7s and their parents that won’t have been involved here), we will be having a mini themed week from Monday including an assembly and registration activities.
Have a lovely weekend.