Today we gathered as a school to mark the lives of 73 young men who lived their dreams here at Orley Farm but who paid the ultimate price in two world wars. Finding sense out of this will be a challenge for adults but if we are to ensure that we never witness such loss again, then empathy and understanding are essential.
Our Remembrance Service talked of lost innocence through the words of a poem by Philip Larkin. We looked at the cemeteries in Normandy that are visited by our senior pupils that overlook the landing beaches. Beaches that today have kites flying, children cartwheeling and are thankfully devoid of the horror and pain that they witnessed in the summer of 1944.
We planted a poppy outside the front of the school for each of those Orleyans and for a brief moment we guessed at the lives that they might have enjoyed if we had found more peaceful solutions to differences. Most importantly, we all vowed to work harder in our daily lives at understanding others. I am always in wonder when see the faces of such young people making sense in their own way of something so terrible. I am so proud of the learning that takes place at this school as I know that your children will make positive marks on our today and tomorrow.