With the end of the academic year clearly on the horizon for pupils, staff and parents, it is possibly the right time to reflect, and celebrate, the past year. We have enjoyed our first year of non-interrupted face-to-face teaching, a shock to some pupils and definitely our staff! It is encouraging to witness the accelerated learning of our children that face-to-face teaching facilitates, showing that this profession is one where communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is of the utmost importance.
Whilst leading other schools, my first assembly of the year would include showing the pupils my comparatively empty academic diary and telling them that in just one year the diary would be full of events, comments and observations. Most of which would be positive, a number would likely to be reflective with the remaining few being negative. So too for the lives of children in school and in general; for the majority of the time we have a school that is positive, eager to learn and ready to co-operate fully for the benefit of the community. This is clearly shown in the manner in which the children greet each other in the mornings and the way Pre-Prep children, in particular, run into their classrooms.
It is an aspect, and strength of our school that the recent ISI inspectors clearly identified and commented on in their final report. Just as in any community and family, there are a number of occasions and events where the outcome requires reflection, this is an ongoing process that takes place regularly here at SVPS. Discussions on how to improve our performance and procedures are on going, enabling learning to occur more readily and making adjustments for the benefit of our children. Lastly, things do go wrong, we all make mistakes; here we have to learn from our mistakes and make sure they do not happen again. A diary will record all of these comments; it is these comments that help us to grow and develop as both individuals and school community
Thinking about the end of term, for some children, once the euphoria of not getting up at a certain time or dressing in specific clothes has worn off, can cause a degree of anxiety due to a lack of structure. Children can miss their school friends and the interaction of peers. This is not true for all children but I would ask parents to be aware that their child may actually miss the routine that school brings.
As I leave at the end of term I would like to leave our children with a few thoughts that I have found useful;
- Life is NOT a spectator sport, use every day to the fullest.
- Try to make someone smile, say a kind word to someone, dream things you would like to do and work hard to make them possible.
- At the end of the day make sure you can say ‘YES, I used the day well.’
- Life is an adventure, enjoy the ride. I wish you much happiness as you travel down life’s highway and hope there are not too many bumps along the way but, perhaps, some interesting detours!
‘Take pride in how far you have come, have faith in how far you can go, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey.’ Michael Josephson