“AS I write this on a clear, bright Thursday morning, President Trump has just been acquitted, the UK is rushing through amendments to terror laws, Germany is concerned about the growing influence of far-right groups and a baby only 30 hours old has just been diagnosed with the Coronavirus.

“The world is indeed an increasingly complex, uncertain and to some degree a frightening entity. And that’s just for a man in his late forties.

“As a school community, how do we support and prepare the young people in our care to face such complicated, confusing and challenging times? What advice can we give? How can we set the best example?

“King’s Ely is fortunate to be a truly international family; we are home to students from 42 different nationalities. Indeed, in September, we will ‘come of age’ as we celebrate having officially welcomed overseas students for 21 years.

“Perhaps the best education we can give all our students lies in celebrating the diversity, multiculturalism and integration that our school offers. Perhaps the answer is in observing how our global classmates live, learn and laugh. Perhaps the answer is partly in developing empathy for ‘otherness’; in seeking to understand the world from another’s eyes.

“As we approach a well-deserved mid-term break to spend time with family and friends, we have a marvellous opportunity to put this into practice. Reflect that our community of Chinese and Hong Kong students have been strongly advised to remain in the UK, not to return home to their families. Consider that these students may not even be allowed to go home in the Easter holidays nor receive visits from their family. Imagine how any of us would feel if they were our sons and daughters.

“Our internationalism is a gift to all of us. To work together. To build understanding. To engender empathy. To work towards a future that is about building bridges that bring us together not encouraging walls that aim to drive us apart.”

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