I was spending some time with some Year 8 boys recently who asked me about the unicorn as our school symbol. As an English teacher, I always enjoy the power of symbols to communicate so much so quickly. And any student of literature will tell you that symbols often have universal meanings that can help you decipher them whenever they appear.
It turns out the unicorn can symbolize a lot of things – and the benefit of this is that we can each choose for ourselves exactly what the school emblem means for us. In a sense, we can assign to it the meaning that most inspires us in our lives at Berwick Grammar School.
Although likely the symbol was initially chosen at our sister school due to its association with femininity and purity, there are also powerful ways a unicorn can resonate with young men striving to grow into good men.
The unicorn can represent transformation – the process perhaps of entering the school as a boy and leaving it as a man, sure of your own values, your skills and abilities and that you belong to a community who knows, accepts and appreciates you.
The unicorn can also symbolize success – the determination to achieve excellence, whether it be in the classroom, on the sporting field or in more artistic endeavours. This could be a symbol which spurs on our debaters, our SIS teams, our mathematicians, writers, artists, musicians and scientists. And given the unique nature of the unicorn, it might even encourage us to take some calculated risks to stand out from the pack – to follow the example of innovators and iconoclasts in the fields that inspire us.
Perhaps that’s the most interesting thing about having a mythical creature as our school logo… it asks us to dare to dream, to open our minds to new possibilities. And what could be a more symbol for a community of learners than that?
So I challenge the young men of Berwick Grammar to dream big and chase their goals. Embrace the growth mindset we have been discussing in Pastoral Care and don’t let anything stand in your way.
Ms Lauren Cook
Head of Senior Boys, Wellbeing