chapter  7
Spiritual, moral and cultural development
WithMartin Ashley
Pages 20

Somewhere in a medium-sized market town in the south-west of England, there is a primary school. In the grounds of that primary school, there stands a tree. For those with the time to look, there is a small plaque beneath the tree. The plaque informs the passerby that the tree is Robert’s tree. I was Robert’s last teacher. I held Robert’s hand as he lay dying in hospital. I heard him speak with bravery and simple nobility about death and what it feels like as it approaches. I spent an hour in his home with his parents on the day after his death. I undertook the poignant tasks of clearing out his redundant work tray, of removing his name from the cloakroom pegs. I faced his former classmates and was part of their coming to terms with a very real death. I played ‘Lord of the Dance’, his favourite hymn, in the assembly we had after he had gone.