A Deeply Felt Loss
As parents will know, last Monday we began the week at Avanti House School with the worst news possible – news that no parent should ever have to hear.
An email from another parent broke the news to me that on Saturday 29th November, in the early afternoon. a family lost their four year old child in Northwick Park Hospital. This followed a short, seemingly minor winter illness that had lasted just the week. The hospital have been very clear in our contact with them throughout last week that the cause was not a contagious or transferrable one – that there was no risk to others. However, we have yet to find out what went so very wrong.
The adorable, energetic and caring young boy, Parv, who absolutely loved coming to school, is pictured here. Parv had been in our Reception year since September. He had been taken ill the previous Monday. And then the following Monday, last week, I was faced with visiting Parv’s home to offer our very deepest condolences to a family. And of course I met a family who, like me, his teachers and all the staff and pupils at Avanti House, primary and secondary, quite simply could not come to terms with such a loss. This loss really has touched our still very young school – the Avanti House family – and very deeply.
Our life goes on. But our love and our prayers go to Parv’s family – for their unimaginable loss. We shall never forget him and will look to create a memorial for Parv once we are settled at the Stanmore site. Parv’s funeral was held this weekend and was attended by his class teacher as well as other parents of Avanti House children.
Our secondary school of course needs to vacate our current site on Common Road next September, to make way for our primary school (subject to planning permission). Discussions continue – to establish where we shall be taking our secondary students next year.
These discussions are brokered and led by the Department for Education. (EFA) The dialogue is gathering significant momentum now, with the sole aim of securing another temporary, fully-provisioned school site for 500+ year 7 – 10 students – for the 14-18 months from September 2015. This is of course, prior to our move to Whitchurch late in 2016 – subject to planning permission. Now contractors are finally engaging with us, planning permission will be sought in the late spring of next year – once they and their architects have completed their designs.
Following a number of really encouraging meetings, last week I have been told by the DfE that we are now very close to being able to announce to parents and carers – existing as well as prospective ones – exactly where our secondary school shall relocate from next September.The DfE (EFA) hold the key to the timing of this announcement. As soon as this is all made public, hopefully very early in 2015, I shall look to arrange to hold a meeting at the site as soon as possible thereafter -for parents to be able to view the school and its facilities and for us to plan our summer move.
Given what currently looks like a period of stability and much more suitable secondary provision ahead of us, pending our final resting place, it is also encouraging to report that we had applications for secondary school places, that for the first time (for first and second choices) ran into figures that will very likely mean that we shall welcome our full admission number of 180 next September – and beyond that, quite possibly, with a number of disappointed families. The momentum behind the Avanti House School, currently in only our third year of operation, is quite significant.
And it is Krishna of course, who talks eloquently in the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna – in the despair of impending battle with family and teachers to show resolve in the face of hope and despair; to remain steadfast in his vision and to understand what it is that is his destiny – his dharma:
Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is 2.14
O son of Kuntī (Arjuna), the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
As we come to the end of term – my first, I would like to thank the many parents as well as staff and students who have made me feel so welcome since September – in spite of the challenges, I have felt really supported. I wish all our families and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year