On Monday 13 September, pupils from the Junior School and Senior School gathered together for the first outdoor Alleyn’s whole school assembly. The event signalled the beginning of a new tradition, the reuniting of the school after 18 months of Covid and a celebration of the school’s identity and values as one connected community.
Head Mrs Lunnon began her speech with a quotation from Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950. From the poem titled Paul Robeson:
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
She spoke about the special community at Alleyn’s, a space where every member can look beyond themselves and help each other to achieve enriched, happy and amplified lives. She asked the school to remember the tragedy of 9/11 which marked its 20th anniversary this year but also to celebrate the historic US Open victory of British tennis champion Emma Raducanu which took place on the same day. In both tragedy and victory, pupils were reminded that courage, heroism, kindness and recognition of our common humanity shine through.
Mrs Lunnon concluded by revealing the core values that the school community was asked to reflect upon over the summer and was pleased to announce the top 5 that pupils, parents, staff, the Governors and alumni all agreed defined the school’s identity were:
Respect, opportunity, curiosity, courage, kindness – referred to as the Alleyn’s ROCCK and signifying the rock on which the school is founded and from which every member of the school can draw power and purpose.
Head of Junior School Mr Severino added, “how immensely proud we are to be part of this bigger family and all that such a community brings… its inspiring, energising and reassuring collective spirit”.
After further speeches from the Captain, Vice Captains and the Chaplain; a prayer read by Year 5 Mila and a performance by the saxophone quartet, everyone joined in for a rousing rendition of William Blake’s traditional school hymn ‘Jerusalem’.