Written by Mr Rogers, Head of Boarding


“And those who were seen dancing, were thought to be crazy, by those who could not hear the music”

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher in the 19th century.  His work covered many subjects but all centred on the aim of allowing individuals to fulfil true potential and become the best version of themselves.  Whilst this quote is generally associated to Nietzsche, no one has actually ever found it written in one of his books.  Alas, I am not one to let the truth get in the way of a good proverb.

In the quote, the music can represent anything, an idea, belief or desire and ‘the dancers’ are reacting to the music that they feel from their perspective.  The observers cannot hear the music from their perspective, do not share the same experience in the moment and dismiss the dancers as ‘crazy’.  If they shared the same experience should they all dance together?  The natural inclination is to side with the perspective of the dancers and insist the observers hear the music and not pass judgement on what they do not fully appreciate.  The quotes highlights the irreplaceable unique value of each individual and the value of differences and diversity in society.

In boarding, many habits and routines are underpinned by a set of value or outcomes, preparing students to go into the world ready to face everything that life has to throw at them.  Whilst the vision is shared, the individual journey is different, aspirations vary and interpretations alter.  At this juncture, perspective is required, allowing peers to progress in their own way and feel supported by others.  Discussion in tutor meetings shares experiences from different perspectives and allows students to learn from one another and grow.

In Princess Beatrice House, an experienced residential boarding house tutor cares for each floor.  Each floor meets as a group each week to share information and good practice.  In addition to this, each student will have the opportunity each half term to attend a 30-minute discussion group on current affairs as part of our well-being programme.  In these sessions, students are presented a topic and short video before being given the chance to share their opinions.  These formal settings provide excellent opportunities to view perspectives differently.  The dining room and common room are more informal spaces for the students to relax and converse.  The use of these spaces is actively encouraged, to build friendships and shares international perspectives in a progressive and welcoming environment.