Message from the Head – 13th November 2020

Senior School
13 Nov 20

It has been lovely to welcome everyone back to School for the second half of term and the children have already impressed their teachers by getting straight back into the swing of things, with their usual enthusiasm for School life.

In Monday’s assembly, Mr Watkins launched this half term’s Learning Powers; Reflection and Empathy, and he encouraged the children to apply these in all aspects of life. Mr Watkins explained to the children that thinking about others and being self-reflective will help all of us to develop these two Learning Powers.

When talking about empathy with the children at SVPS, we emphasise the importance of being able to understand how others are feeling. We remind them that their actions can affect others and we aim to help them to understand why someone might be experiencing feelings at a particular time. Developing empathy is a vital building block in a child’s ability to regulate their emotions and is so valuable in being able to adapt and succeed in a fast-changing world.

As parents, you are, of course, your child’s most enduring teachers and you can help with the development of empathy in a number of ways. Firstly, and most importantly, modelling empathy is the best way to teach your child this valuable skill. Secondly, encouraging your child to name their feelings will help them to understand their emotions and the emotions of others and talking together about how people are feeling and why will enable children to build their emotional language and consider things from other people’s perspective. Thirdly, caring for animals, or even plants, helps children to understand the role they play in helping another living thing to thrive. Finally, one of the very best and simplest ways to help children to develop a sense of empathy is to read books together. This way, children learn to associate feelings and actions with their favourite characters and stories.

Today is Children in Need day and marking this annual event has enabled the children to engage their Empathy Learning Power and think more about others who are not as fortunate as the pupils of SVPS. I am hugely grateful to the SVPSPA for coming up with a way that has enabled us to support this special event despite the restrictions and I am sure the duck racing and dressing up has been lots of fun! I am delighted to see how much has been raised, already, by the SVPS community via the Just Giving page and thank you all, so much, for your generosity.