“IN assembly this week, I shared one of the positive news stories of the last month: the successful first summit of K2 in winter. There are 14 mountains over 8,000 metres, of these 14, K2 was the only mountain (until 16th January) that no-one had ever climbed in winter.

“This has been regarded as one of the most coveted achievements in mountaineering due to the technical challenges, the notorious high winds, and temperatures as low as -70°C. A small team of Nepalese Sherpas, instead of working for high profile Western expeditions, decided to work for each other and to represent the Nepalese climbing community by taking on this challenge independently. On 16th January, they all stopped 10 metres before the top of K2, sang the Nepalese national anthem and then walked together to the summit. They wanted it to be a team achievement, not an individual one.

“So often we exalt individual achievements. However, frequently, the best things happen when people work together as part of a team… there were no big egos at work here, no-one was trying to claim all the credit or to take all the glory. To borrow the words of the former US president Harry Truman, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

“Finally, we have been incredibly impressed with the ways in which pupils have coped with the challenges of remote learning this term. It is not easy for anyone and I am grateful for your continued support. We await the Government announcement on 22nd February and hopefully this will give clarity on a return to school and arrangements for exams.

“All the very best for the half-term break.”

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