Editorial 20/11/19

Dear Parent,

November is a time of remembering. There was a moving AJEX service at the cenotaph last Sunday to commemorate those who fought and died in the service of their country at which Hasmonean students, staff and parents were proud to be involved. This week the Sixth Form had the incredible experience of listening to a holocaust survivor, Mr Josef Lewkowicz and seeing the film made about him- The Survivor’s Revenge. The adage that who forget the past are doomed to repeat it has much wisdom.

I have been looking at the role of memory with my Year 9 Psychology enrichment classes – both having no memory and being able to remember everything. Each of these can wreck lives. Losing one’s memory is the more familiar one and many of us will have older relatives with dementia whose memories are slipping away, sometimes to the point when they can no longer recognise their loved ones. However, remembering everything can also be a curse as all the negative events of a life are ever-present and it can be hard to process traumatic experiences.

As parents and teachers, we need to think about just how much we want to remember about our young people and the inevitable errors made in growing up. Some children take longer than others to learn from their mistakes and deserve censure for repeatedly making the same ill-advised choices. However, having total recall of every misdemeanour does not allow girls and boys to reinvent themselves and become more mature. The increased tendency to play out our lives online does not help with this either. A fresh start can be really important and each break from school allows for a new beginning. So treasure the positive memories of your children and be forgiving when they get things wrong.

Have a very good half term,

Mrs K Brice