Message from the Head – 14th Feb 2020

Senior School
14 Feb 20

This half term, the whole School focus has been on the learning powers of tenacity and bravery. I have really enjoyed introducing the children, during our Monday assemblies, to famous people who have displayed these traits and it has been super to read out, during our weekly Celebration Assembly, the names of pupils who have received ‘over and above’ awards this term, as a result of being tenacious or brave.

When speaking to the students at Harvard University, JK Rowling famously said ‘It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- in which case, you fail by default.’ At SVPS, we are trying to instil in the children the fact that an important measure of success is how well we deal with failure. We believe in ‘ceiling- less’ learning thereby giving the children the opportunity to aim as high as they possibly can. However, it is the little steps that will get them there and a key aspect of being tenacious is being willing to change tack if something isn’t working. This isn’t giving up but rather trying a different approach to the same problem that may well bring success. In this week’s assembly, we talked about the fact we need to fail in order to progress towards achieving an ambition. Indeed, without failure, achieving our goals would mean nothing. 

This term, it has been wonderful to hear the children talk about times when things haven’t quite gone to plan. For example, in recent Science lessons, Year 4 have been presenting the musical instruments they created as a part of their topic on Sound. Many of the children talked about the things that went wrong that ultimately led to the creation of their final, successful, instrument. I am quite sure that this is why the Year 4 ‘band’ was one of the most impressive we have ever seen.

You may remember that the learning powers we focused on last term were independence and initiative and also empathy and reflection. It has been fantastic to see the children continuing to develop in these areas and we end this half term with our Year 6 children demonstrating all of these qualities in their organisation of their fund raising event that takes place this afternoon. This week, a group of Year 5 children, who have been reflecting on the impact of the Australian bushfires on the wildlife, used their initiative to organise a fund raiser for both the Pre-Prep and Prep departments. Seeing our learning powers in action, both in and out of the classroom, is excellent and demonstrates, beautifully, the positive impact developing a growth mindset is having on our children. I hope to see many of you this afternoon in the dining hall for the Year 6 event before you head off for half term and I wish you all a very restful week’s break.

Miss Corkran