Teaching & Learning: What we say matters

Children listen in. Children are always listening in. Children are taking in our own private (what we think to be private) conversations. Children are in short, nosy.

I always remind the staff and parents to be mindful of what they are actually saying and how they are saying it when they are talking with the children in earshot. Even if they first appear not to be listening in. They ARE!

I encourage you all to try to be aware of …
• What are the children are actually hearing?
• What preconceptions are we fulfilling for those children?
• What stereotypes are we re-generating for those children?
• What positive connotations are they picking up on?
• What negative connotations are they picking up on?

Please exercise caution when I say that – they hear, understand and more importantly BELIEVE more than what we would like to think they do. Always try to keep your talk positive, kind and generous of spirit. As a result – that is how your child will talk and think.

This week I am sharing three quotes with you – I collected these at the Year 4 Heroes evening, which can I add was a very enjoyable and humbling event. Needless to say, I wouldn’t mind any child overhearing this kind of talk. This kind of talk is welcome any time:

QUOTE 1: Yes children – you do have ‘remarkable power’ – find your voice and know how to use it most effectively.

“I need young people to know that they have a remarkable power when they stand up and shout about what they believe in, they can change the world.” Steve Backshall 2017.

QUOTE 2: Yes children – Talent and hard work go hand in hand – these are truly remarkable combinations of qualities you can develop.

Exeter Chiefs Player (2018) on how to become a famous rugby player …‘Hard work will always beat talent, when talent doesn’t work hard enough’

Quote 3: Yes children – Learn to give your opinion, listen and respond to others opinion and develop skills to justify why you hold these opinions. It is important. Your mind should be free and you should search for reasoning in this sometimes bonkers world.

A Yr 4 pupils’ Great Aunty on new innovation of going to the moon… ‘Waste of money, Waste of money, absolute waste of money. Couldn’t get enthusiastic about it … let things be …’

So finally, if you want a way in to help your child to talk more about positively about themselves and others (and by the way – it can help anyone of any age) – my son and I are currently sharing this yarn together. We can highly recommend it.

Lo and behold, I then found out from Mrs Rebecca Colwill (Yr 6 tutor, Head of Drama. And soon to be Wellbeing Leader and Champion at St Peter’s) …

… that she has also been sharing this book with her Yr 6 class following a Positive Psychology course that she attended in Bristol. Matthew Syed’s writing is creating a lot of talk amongst educators (again).

More news to follow on our new Wellbeing curriculum developments (all is happening behind the scenes at the moment on this new exciting chapter).

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