School; Monovian Editorials

Editorials - 1966

 

No. 88 Summer 1966

 


Editor: G. A. SWAN

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
The day of June 11th saw one of the most important events in the recent history of the school take place. With the opening of the Swimming Pool a new era has commenced at Monoux. It means that no longer do first and second formers have a fifteen minute walk up to the Technical College baths for a swimming lesson, and that all the school can take advantage of the pool. What else has the opening of the pool meant to the life of the school? In the future its use as an added facility for the school is quite plainly seen, because as well as swimming, new activities such as canoeing can be taught. In the past, however, it has meant five years of very hard work for all sections of the Monoux Family, and even before its construction had started, the pool had been a part of school life. It has seemed that any event held in the school has been held in aid of the Swimming Pool Fund, and even though there has been a great amount of effort at all times, it has, sometimes, appeared that the building of the pool was receding further rather than approaching. The pool had meant more than the basic fact that we would be able to have unlimited swimming. It meant that when the big plunge was taken five years ago to go ahead with plans to build a pool, a goal had been set, and with this in front of everybody, it has led to the completion of it. Many of the people in the upper school who have worked hard for it will never be able to have the use of the pool. This has already happened with the building of the Pavilion, because many of the boys who put effort into that have never used it. Therefore it could be considered that the boys that have had use of this but not of the pool were, in their effort for the pool, repaying previous Monovians for the use of the Pavilion. All the work that has been done for the pool has been done without any thought of self, and the realisation that they were doing it for the good of the school was the only reason they needed for helping. With the great amount of destruction today, it is difficult to see man's aim to better himself and his conditions but, albeit on a small scale, the Monoux Family over the past five years have striven to do just that, and they have succeeded against odds, which at first might have seemed, to some people, too great. In an effort such as this basic human responsibilities have been felt at Monoux. The major one is that of bettering one's conditions, and this has now been done here. Just as in a family it is not only the present generation that is thought of, so in the Monoux Family the future generations are being considered. All the work put into the raising of money and such projects as building the filter house have been done with a completely unselfish outlook, and ingenuity has had to be employed to think of new ways to obtain money. Also because of the great effort required in a venture such as this, the Monoux Family has been strengthened, each part becoming more reliant on the others, and thus becoming a closer knit body. This knitting together has also brought the Drapers Company into even closer association with the school after its extremely generous gift to the fund. The opening of the pool therefore is an event which should be a proud occasion and one of self-congratulation to all members of the Family

G. A. Swan

 

No. 89 Winter 1966

 


Editor: G. A. SWAN

 

SPEAKING EDITORIALLY
Snobs! This is what the Minister for Education and Science recently implied about the grammar school pupils. This kind of generalisation is exceptionally dangerous to make, as welt as the fact that the word snob has many different meanings to different people. The one general impression that it leaves on most people is one of unpleasantness. It is one of the most important things in life that one must avoid; one can become socially better than someone else, but on no account must one become a snob. The Minister's exact words were "We know that the grammar schools do inculcate into their pupils the moral altitude that encourages snobbery?' Never in my seven years at this school has anyone ever even suggested that as a pupil here I was better than someone who went to a non-grammar school. The suggestion of snobbishness does not come from within the school, but from outside sources. Parents whose children have reached the age of eleven place far too much emphasis on what the neighbours will say when their child goes to a certain school. The selection at this age is to give the form of education that will best suit the particular child. It is not out to make a child feel socially inferior. The only thought that should be in parents' minds when they make the selection, of schools that they would like their child to go to, is what school will give their child the best education. This does not always mean that this will be the school with the best name locally. On the first day of the new school year the first formers are told, and the rest of the school reminded, that they have in their possession the good name of the school, and that their deeds and actions will reflect upon this good name. This is where the word pride has to take the fore. It is the sense of pride that one has in the school and its academic and sporting achievements that is the important thing. Unfortunately, this sense of pride can be interpreted as snobbery when viewed by an outsider. If a person is not proud of his school, there must be something radically wrong with either the child or the schools, with our school I can say without any shadow of doubt, that the wrong would lie with the child. To summarise what the Head master said on Speech Day, it is not the moral attitudes that encourage snobbery that are inculcated into us, but the attitudes that encourage the condemnation of the cheap, the nasty and the shoddy, whether of morality, courtesy, graciousness, sportsmanship or learning, and those in public lire who accept low standards, or by their silence condone them. I find it very difficult to understand why this sense of pride is changed into one of snobbery. However, in the eyes of certain politicians, snobbery is equated with grammar schools, and thus since snobbery is to be condemned, so too are the grammar schools. At the same time the Minister did not wish to say anything against the academic achievements of the grammar school. Snobbery is what is thought by some people to accompany the good academic records of this type of school, then it must be considered as one of those unfortunate secondary factors, comparable with the fact that radiation is a by-product of an atomic reaction. If as he said, he wishes to extend "the conditions of the grammar schools to the benefit of the many who have been previously denied these privileges." they cannot be considered a bad thing. As long as the school continues to achieve its high academic record, and attainment in sport, as well at teaching its pupils the highest moral values, the problem of the "side effects" must be considered of little import.

Graham A. Swan

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