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Principal’s Message: Small Gestures that Make a Family…

I walked past a colleague and was intrigued by the box he was carrying. It was heaped high with
meticulously cut square pieces of cardboard. "It's for the exams," he explained, "to stabilise
uneven tables so that our students can do their papers more comfortably."

I visited a boarder who was down with chicken pox at our medical centre. I asked him how he
was managing with food. “My friends bring me dinner from the boarding school in the evening
and the Matron buys me lunch each day from the school canteen.” He also told me that the Matron
updated his parents and teachers on his condition daily.

Our school                    A canteen vendor in the school passed away after a short illness
philosophy states             during the school holiday. On hearing the news, a group of students
that "at its heart, the       emailed me their plan to collect messages of condolences from staff
school is a family            and students which they would like to hand over to the family to
and a community."             encourage them at their time of grief and loss.

Walking into the school office, I encountered an animated group of Year 1 students. They had
brought their friend to the office as he had a fall while playing. The young gentleman was in some
pain, and his knee was bruised and bleeding. The friends tried to lighten the mood by telling him
the lamest of jokes. Within minutes, their teacher was there, gently reassuring the boy, while
attending to his wound.

These represent just a fraction of the incidents that I personally know about. I believe there are
many other such small and thoughtful gestures that take place among students, teachers, parents
and the wider ACS community on a daily basis.

Small gestures, deep impact.

Our school philosophy states that "at its heart, the school is a family and a community." It is
where each faithfully uses whatever gifts he or she has received to serve others. Critically, school
is where staff, students and the school family can experience the reality of God’s love and
forgiveness, support and strength through our interactions with one another.

This aspect of our school philosophy will remain an inspiring but lofty aspiration if it is not made
real in the lives of ACSians. But as some of the examples I have shared indicate, the spirit of family
and community is very much alive in our school. It is demonstrated not always by grand or bold
overtures but by the many heart-warming, kind and often small actions quietly undertaken by
members of the school family because they care for others around them - and have the courage
and thoughtfulness to do something about it.

Small gestures. We can all make them happen

Winston Hodge                                4
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)
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