Welcome to the New School Year

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At the start of every new term, I often recall something the teacher in Anne of Green Gables said. “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it yet.” And so it is with the new term: fresh and ready for a new beginning for students. There’s room for mistakes, room for learning from those mistakes, and room for success as well.

It was this freshness I felt this weekend when I and SSHL staff welcomed all students and their families to the start of the 2016 autumn term. On Saturday we greeted new boarding students and their families, some of them a little nervous, and all of them excited to see what the new school year would bring. And on Sunday, our returning boarders and day pupils arrived, everyone decked out splendidly in their uniforms.

Our new tennis court and multi-sport court represent new beginnings as well. We were so pleased to unveil them both on Sunday’s meet-and-greet. These new sport facilities were made possible of course by the Parents’ Association, who worked so tirelessly to raise the money needed to build them. A big thank you to the Parents’ Association together with the Alumni (Fördettingar), and to everyone who donated so generously to this initiative.

On Monday I could still feel the lively energy coursing through the halls as classes started for the English-speaking classes, then the Swedish-speaking ones. Everyone looked so smart in their uniforms. Of course, students are not required to wear their uniforms every day, but only on Wednesdays and special occasions. Seeing students in their uniforms always signifies that something remarkable is happening, like start or end of term.
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While all this newness abounds, it’s timely to remind all of you: it’s not luck, it’s hard work that brings reward. Your success does not depend upon which teacher you have for physics. It doesn’t depend on whether or not your teacher is in a “good mood” or whether or not the sun is shining.

Your success depends upon you, and only you. What you put into your academic course load is what you’ll get out. It’s a boring formula but it’s the only one that works.

For those of you starting new programmes (i.e. Gymnasium), you may find it a challenge to switch to this new way of working. Your success still depends on you. Your teachers, house parents and tutors are here to support you. Ask if you need help. Being pro-active will keep you on track.

But don’t forget: there’s also a lot to enjoy, even if the pressure is on for 9th graders and STUD 17. Boarders have their kick-off next weekend and the week after next all classes have their Mentor Day while the 3rd ringers trudge off the the Swedish highlands. Furthermore, I warmly encourage you to sign up for some of the wonderful extracurricular activities we offer at SSHL. There’s no better way to make new friends with students in different grade levels, different boarding homes, and different class groups in the school.

To all students and parents, I wish you all a fantastic autumn term. It’s a blank page just waiting for you to tell your own story.

Pictures from the start of term