Follow Us:

Stephen Fry sends morale-boosting message to our schools

Share This Post

Norfolk-born Stephen said: “Don’t ever fall into the trap of thinking that you’re somehow ‘failing’ or ‘getting lockdown wrong’ — there’ is no way to get through all this that is right and proper. It can be off-putting submitting oneself to the window of social media through which other people’s lives can seem so healthy, happy and efficient… all that baking and exercising that other people are doing …. It can make one feel inadequate.”

He added: “But what other people choose to share of their lives, faked or real, isn’t the point. We are all getting through this in our own way, and for most of us, that means good days, ok days, bad days and awful days. Let oneself have those bad days without feeling guilty and letting self-annoyance make them worse… all this is easier to write and say than do, but I really do feel that we should let ourselves off the hook where we can and allow ourselves to stumble and sulk from time to time!”

Oliver Burwood, CEO of Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) said: “It’s been really inspiring for staff across the Trust to hear these words of encouragement from Stephen Fry and I’d like to thank him for taking the time to share them. At a time when everyone is working so hard these words of positive support will mean so much and will help everyone to keep going. Stephen is absolutely right when he says that none of this is easy and that we all need to try and find space for ourselves.”

Richard Cranmer, CEO of St Benet’s Multi-Academy Trust said: “When I decided to change career and train to become a teacher, it was because I was often working alone and I really missed being with people.  The last 11 months have reminded me how much I miss being around colleagues and pupils – at times I have found it a challenge and have fallen into the trap that Stephen describes in ‘getting lockdown wrong’.  His words should provide reassurance to all of us that those feelings are normal, and to be kind to ourselves.”

Mr Kevin Lee, Headteacher of Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy in Great Yarmouth said: “I thought Stephen’s message was really inspiring. His words are honest and authentic and he’s absolutely right in that everybody has to find their own way through the situation that we all face.”  He adds: “It is also vital that at the same time we all reach out to each other for mutual support. Incidentally, his words have also encouraged me to persist in my lockdown quest of trying to enjoy jazz!”

Natalie Lewis, office manager of St Benet’s Dickleburgh Primary Academy said: “It’s really reassuring to read, that someone like Stephen Fry understands what we are trying to do for all of our children in schools at the moment. He seems to get the fact that some days are better than others and that’s ok. I have always loved Stephen Fry and his honesty and his attitude to life. So having him support our MAT is going to be a real boost for us all.”

When asked what enjoys reading and listening to during lockdown Stephen Fry said:

“At the moment, I’m re-reading Gore Vidal’s “Narratives of Empire” series.  Seven fabulous historical novels set in the US between the American Revolutionary Wars and the 1950s.”

He added: “Musically, mostly jazz and classical I’m afraid. Getting very into Duke Ellington at the moment. Otherwise, Schubert is my current best friend.”

While most people boost their mood with chocolate, Stephen’s mood booster is ‘oat milk.’ He commented: “To boost my mood, it’s oat milk….pints and pints of it!”

And what is he currently watching on the box?  He said: “I can’t join in with the enthusiasm for current “binge-worthy” TV. It’s far more likely to be old Midsummer Murders, Silent Witness and Agatha Christie than the hot new Netflix shows… I don’t know what that says about me. I suspect it isn’t good.”

Mrs Shannon O’Sullivan, Headteacher of Thomas Bullock Church of England Primary in Shipdham said: “It is encouraging to hear Stephen Fry remind us to look out for each other and keep talking. We are truly grateful for this positivity. Mr Fry has graciously reminded teachers across the county that everything we do is for the children but to not take ourselves too seriously and enjoy each day as it comes.  Something we often remind our parents too.  Lockdown is about supporting our entire school community and we will continue to follow his top-tips!”

Harleston Primary Academy Headteacher, Hannah Holgate, said: “We at Harleston Primary Academy are touched that Stephen Fry has taken the time out of his busy schedule to send us these warm words of encouragement. Yet again he highlights the need for self-care and allowing oneself to ‘sulk’ sometimes. Stephen Fry – Thank you. I know that my children and staff are thrilled to receive this message.”