Academic Deputy Head’s Lines

Senior School
6 Dec 19

With the General Election just around the corner, it is pertinent for us to consider why we should nurture our children’s general knowledge.  The importance of general knowledge is far more than simply knowing answers to trivia and general knowledge quizzes.  In today’s world, general knowledge is critical for our child’s growth and success.  The key is to learn and gain more knowledge about different areas; especially those beyond the classroom.  Going beyond academics, helps children to excel in different areas as they learn from their surroundings.  Indeed, the knowledge and skills that our children acquire will help build their confidence and develop their ability to learn, make decisions and consider their actions.

In Pre-Prep, the Current Affairs Board, with its weekly competition, is designed to grasp the attention of our younger children; it encourages them to ask questions and to initiate further investigation.  In Prep, the children have been finding out about the General Election in assemblies and in their Humanities lessons.  Recently, Current Affairs Club has been focusing on debating skills; the children have been proposing and opposing a variety of topics and suggestions.  Philosophy Club encourages deep thought and consideration, fostering curiosity and higher order thinking skills.  Last week, our Curiosity Club Day was the catalyst for the children to think about their carbon footprint and the affect that they have on the environment. 

General knowledge and the consideration of current affairs, play a huge role in the holistic development of a child.  The learning from their lessons becomes the child’s strong and sturdy trunk.  A child’s awareness and general knowledge become the fruits and leaves of their tree.  General knowledge is actually a very broad topic and our children are like sponges; they are ready to absorb all the provided information.  At School and at home, our role is to ensure that our children are given access to a wide range of experiences, to encourage their natural curiosity and nurture their inquisitiveness.  Learning for learning’s sake, for the sheer joy of finding out should never be underestimated; it lays the strong foundations for the years ahead, in School and beyond.  With Christmas fast approaching, perhaps it is worth considering a subscription gift to one of the child-based publications such as First News, Aquila, The Week Junior or Science and Nature; all are bursting with current affairs and general knowledge.  Introducing our children to a myriad of topics helps them build a strong foundation of knowledge and once they are interested in the basic information, their curiosity will drive them on to want to know more.

In the words of Martin Fisher, ‘All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind’.

I must end this week’s newsletter with a huge thank you to Mr Bruce Easter and the amazing SVPSPA team for organising such a fabulous Christmas Fair.  An enormous amount of work goes into the organisation of this much-loved annual event and it was enjoyed by the whole SVPS community.  It was lovely to see so many families of older children returning and there was such a happy and relaxed atmosphere.  I know that I, for one, was very pleased with my festive purchases!

Next week will be action-packed and filled to the brim with festivities; these include the Year 1 Nativity Play, the Pantomime trip, Christmas lunches and parties and the annual, hard-fought inter-house quiz ‘Bubbles and Brains’.  We are also very much looking forward to seeing many Prep parents and all the children in Years 3 to 6 at the Carol Service, at the Senior School Chapel on Wednesday.  Do, please, join us afterwards in the Refectory, for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie!