Thoughts from the Headteacher’s office

The value of diversity

Recent political events have focused the issue of immigration under a national lens. Woodcote, like nearly every other Greater London school, celebrates a wonderful multicultural mix of students and teachers.

There are over 32 different “first languages” spoken at home, yet the vast majority of these students speak and write fluently in English at school.

It’s always fascinating to see how new students with no previous experience of English pick up language skills. In no time at all they are able to converse fluently with their friends and feel an integral part of the Woodcote family – ready to learn.

It‘s saddening to read that incidents of hate crime and racism are on the increase across the country since 23rd June.  This has not been reflected at Woodcote or amongst youngsters as a whole, and in many ways, recent events have brought all our students closer together, whichever country they come from.

We have welcomed many students from EU countries over the years, whose parents work locally and are fully integrated into our community. Currently we have students from Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Romania. The uncertainty following the referendum decision to leave the EU must weigh heavily on the minds of these families.

Whilst we as a school can do little to influence the current political situation, we can guarantee that we will continue to work with each and every one of our students to help them to achieve the best that they can and continue to grow into adults who contribute positively to society in a meaningful way.

We are not an inward looking school; we celebrate diversity in all its forms and believe in tolerance, harmony, acceptance and accord. We will not accept prejudice in any form or political guise.