Head’s Lines – 17th September 2021

Senior School
17 Sep 21

With the beginning of a new School year, we return to the beginning of our cycle of Learning Powers, with a focus on independence and initiative. These are big words, particularly for some of our youngest children, but they can be simplified by thinking about developing the ability to do things for yourself and to think for yourself. As we settle back into a ‘normal’ that has been absent from School over the last couple of years, many of our children are having to learn the SVPS way of doing things for the very first time. This ranges from the way in which the children move around the School, particularly in Years 3 to 6, to procedures in the Dining Hall and getting changed for Games.

The new Learning Powers was introduced by thinking about how actress Emma Watson, known best for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, has used her celebrity status to speak out for a cause she believes in. Having reflected on her own experiences of being young and told that she was “bossy”, something she noticed was never a word directed at boys, she is now a fierce advocate for women’s rights, having spoken to the UN and G7, amongst others.

In School, independence and initiative might look less spectacular, but children who feel confident to make decisions for themselves and solve little problems as they arise tend to be more resilient learners, less afraid of getting things wrong and more likely to embrace mistakes as an integral part of the learning process. This can be as simple as considering what needs to be done if you find a piece of clothing on the floor, or what to do when you get to the end of your page in a workbook. All these little actions add up to make a School that runs with efficiency and purpose, where each member does what they can to help the others, thus fulfilling the SVPS ethos of ‘each cares for all’, which we hold so dear.

Learning how to fasten a tie, or to tie your shoelaces will require some determination and perseverance, but the children are beginning to learn that the faster you can get ready for Games lessons, the sooner you can get outside and get the lesson underway. Several children in Years 3 and 4 have been challenged to learn these key life skills at home; please do give them a hand if they come and ask for help.

We have had two enjoyable trips today, with Year 1 at the Museum of Kent Life and Year 4 at Carroty Wood, as well as Meet the Teacher events for Years 3, 5 and 6. In addition to this, having parents on the touchline for this week’s matches has been yet another step in the return to a more normal year at SVPS, which is full of so much promise and, hopefully, plenty of independence and initiative!

Mr Watkins, Deputy Head