Education literally means “to lead out” from the Latin ex ducere. It means that our role as a school is to draw out of our students the talents, abilities and qualities that lie within them. It is a classical view of education and one that we proudly subscribe to.
As a selective Grammar school we admit those who have demonstrated an ability for the kind of academic education we provide. But ability without application is largely meaningless and so at NHGS we nurture and train those abilities; developing the skills and attitudes necessary to flourish in an academic environment. We call this Scholarship.
This is one important element of a great education but it is not the only one. Plutarch said that “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire”. Fire would have been seen by the ancient Greeks and indeed the Elizabethans as a symbol of inspiration. Shakespeare’s “muse of fire” is the inspiration we all seek to give us purpose and to move us forward. A great education should inspire and we call this Wonder.
Ambition is often referred to in education and more often denotes a desire to do better, to do more, to climb the proverbial ladder. There is some value to this, but the real meaning of ambition is very different. It derives from the Greek root which literally means wingspan and therefore means to “spread your wings”; to try new things, develop new skills, talents and interests through a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. We call this Ambit.
Our school logo centres on a Compass Rose which reflects a search for direction, finding our way. Three points of the compass are Scholarship, a sense of Wonder and inspiration and Ambit, the breadth of experience.
The last is our True North; where our skills, abilities, attitudes and purpose align with our values to point us where we need to go. This is where we find fulfilment and indeed happiness. As we “lead out” our students it is the compass, via scholarship, wonder and ambit that guides them to their true north.