Five Days in London

In John Lukacs’s book Five Days in London, May 1940, he writes about the pivotal five days during which Winston Churchill was elected as Prime Minister after Neville Chamberlain’s resignation. This superbly researched book discusses an event which was a turning point for the nation. Churchill not only took control of Parliament but gained a momentum never seen before that crafted a sense of stoicism and survival and gave heart to the entire British community during the outbreak of World War II. As Lukacs defines it, ‘In the history of States and of peoples a turning point is often a battle or an episode during a revolution: more precisely, a sudden shifting of events and movements in a battle or during a revolution. A turning point is not a milestone; the latter is a numerically fixable place, foreseeable, linear, and sequential. A turning point may occur in a person’s mind; it may mean a change of direction; it has consequences that are multiple and unpredictable, consequences that are more often than not recognizable only in retrospect. A turning point may sometimes be foreseeable, but not with certainty…’

At Carey, staff from the ELC to Year 12 work tirelessly in preparing the students to not only achieve their very best in the final year at school, but to flourish in the outside world. Teachers encourage students to find a passion for the subjects they are taking. Homework is set in stages and the habits and disciplines of hard work, inquiry and research are instilled into the students over time.

We also facilitate collaboration across year levels, which enables students to achieve special things. House acts as a community for students to be able to share their ideas, express their interests and influence others in a positive and meaningful manner. Sport provides an opportunity to practice teamwork and sportsmanship at training and for competing Houses and year levels to form a special bond. At some point in time they can learn to appreciate everybody’s incredibly wonderful individuality and work with a variety of people in a collegial manner in classes, teams and performances.

Last week we saw this in the Senior School Play, The Laramie Project. The staff, lighting crew, props, stage managers and actors studied, rehearsed, trained and created a performance that was truly moving. Like Churchill in those five days, the momentum was evident for the many people involved working together to produce such a wonderful production.

Our Year 12 students have around 20 school days left before they enter a period of study prior to completing their final examinations. Developing a command of their subject knowledge and the skill to efficiently answer examination questions, our Year 12 students will not only be celebrating their final days of school, but they will be building momentum in practice examinations, revision notes and study for their final school assessment. Last week, our Senior School Parents Association offered our Year 12s a final morning tea, wishing them all the very best for their studies ahead. Teachers are already providing mountains of feedback, as well as study tips and study sessions in the library over the September holidays for students to come and revise for their final examinations. Like the Five Days in London, it is such an important time for our Year 12 students and we wish them all the best for the coming weeks. As the philosopher Henry David Thoreau wrote, ‘If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.’

Christian Gregory
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Welfare