Dear Colleagues,

Where will you be going this weekend?

I am so impressed with the tremendous effort that our staff have been putting into the way that we are supporting our schools, our students and their families. I’ve also seen some great examples of how our students are responding to the challenge of learning at home as well as those who are still doing their bit for their local communities. Some of our students are truly awesome.

Everyone has been fantastic as always but don’t forget to take time for yourself. For many, this weekend is a holiday in many parts of the world including our colleagues in Europe, the USA and the UK. So, I’ve decided to take a holiday too. I’m going to be travelling but not outside of my home. I’m staying safe in the comfort of my home in Hyderabad but I am off exploring a whole new adventure through the pages of a book.

Books seems to have been around for centuries – indeed, some form of printed manuscript was certainly there a few centuries BC and then with woodblock prints in China 2, 000 years ago. But when the printing press arrived from Germany in the 15th Century, reading became more accessible. Rather like the internet, when the World Wide Web was first started, only a handful of people could access this network. As it grew through access to personal computing, it now seems implausible to think of a time before we could google and answer to a question.

Our schools have relied on this network to communicate with our students, colleagues, , friends and family during these times of social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no doubt that this has been a lifesaver for many and a great new world has opened up to us all as we work out how to hangout with our friends on google. But there are times when being a slave to the digital screen can be too much and we need some downtime to recharge and feel real rather than a digital version of our human ourselves. So how will you release yourself from the tie to your laptop? How will you escape from the seemingly endless time watching a screen? This weekend, I am catching up on a good read.

Immersing yourself in a book has the ability to unlock your imagination, transporting you into a world of wonder and unlimited possibilities; this in turn helps to expand your vocabulary, improving memory and focus. Reading promotes logical thinking along with providing a lifelong, enjoyable hobby. It helps at every age with communication skills from the younger children benefiting from being able to explain themselves to older children having greater confidence in presentations, debates and conversations. Parents can use reading as a way to build stronger relationships with their children. Reading a story based on a developmental milestone or a social situation can help ease children’s stress levels and encourage them to talk and share feelings with their parents. It can also be a great way to escape into an imaginary world and set yourself free of the pressures of answering emails, setting and marking student assignments, talking to classes on-line. So, this weekend, what book are you and your family going to pick up to escape the pressures of the Nord Anglia Virtual School Experience? Go on, find yourself a book and escape reality for the weekend.

Thank you all. Be safe, stay inside, and keep well.

Yours truly,

Dr Terry Creissen OBE MBA MA FCMI FRSA
Managing Director, India