Early in the year we celebrate the opening of school at Convocation, an all school gathering that takes place at the center of the campus in the green space we call the Sanctuary. This event is one of the few times when we are assembled as a whole school community to share music and thoughts about an important theme for the year.
This year, we asked faculty, staff and students from EC-12 to reflect on the theme of “Sanctuary.” In response to various prompts, “What does sanctuary mean to you?” and “How do we create sanctuary for one another?” hundreds of responses were gathered, sifted through, and selected for this year’s community reading entitled “Sanctuary: An Open Green Place Where All of Us Can Gather.” Many of our youngest students were spotted in the week leading up to the ceremony quietly exploring and reflecting on the sights, smells, and breezes in our very own sanctuary, eliciting observations such as “The wind sounds like music!” and “It’s nature in the middle of Waynflete!”
At Convocation, students in K-1 graced the edges of the sanctuary with handmade “peace pinwheels” and Head of School Geoff Wagg opened with an invitation to each group in the school to wave their hands in welcome. Since sanctuaries exist in every culture, the readings were in many of the languages spoken in the homes of Waynflete families, including Chinese, German, Somali, French, Thai, Japanese, Romanian, and American Sign Language. For a list of all of the readings, click here.
Afterward, viola and violin music filled the air with a duet arrangement of “Simple Gifts” and one student from each division of the school participated in striking the ceremonial gong to ring in the start of another year of learning together.