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The First Steps are the Hardest

Well done to everyone for surviving and thriving during the first six full weeks of the 2021-2022 academic year. That is: pupils, parents and staff.   It was a bumpy ride at times. All of us are somewhat out of the routine of what was our ‘normal’ lives and, now, our ‘near normal’ has returned, it has hit us all like a freight train and smashed us all sideways! Busy, busy, busy. 

I send a warm, but slightly frazzled, wave goodbye on Friday evening and then I am off to find a darkened room!  Not to cry (promise), but just to catch my breath! 

As we teach the children, through all of the challenging things that we demand of them here at St Peter’s Preparatory School, the first thing to do is start and the second is to continue. We do not want them to learn through a perfectly manicured lawn; it’s more like learning through a a rocky mountain, deep valley and tough terrain, to enable them to be proud of their own achievements. Facing fears is an essential part of our existence.  A special well done to ALL of our new starting pupils: you have ALL faced your own fears to start at a new school and you have coped so incredibly well with the craziness that is St P’s! What stars you all are; it has been a pleasure to get to know you.

Let’s take a break for Half Term to reflect, review and recharge.  It is such an important part of learning, as I have written about previously in a blog entitled  The Importance Of Review and Reflection.

Parents, please pause before you pack the holiday full of events and activities. Rest is really, really important for children’s progress, development, imagination and growth. (Again, St Peter’s has previously written about this in an article called The Importance of Rest for Children). 

It is something about which I feel passionately. Children need time to refuel and download everything they have just experienced in six PACKED full weeks. Let them play, read, write, draw, sing, dance and daydream … sleeeeeeeep. Even allow them to be bored – it’s very good for them. 

We all cannot wait to welcome them back on Monday 1 November.

Here are just two photos that I took this week of the camaraderie and FUN in our school. It truly is a special place. The children are the heartbeat and focus of everything we aim to achieve.

 

When we first set out designing our forever moving and changing curriculum, we talked about making it completely balanced in all areas of learning, immersive and engaging, fun, challenging, high attaining, yet accessible to all.  We set out to create a curriculum that promoted practical skills alongside deep, rich subject knowledge, full of leadership opportunities, developing character (and on and on … ). Well,  whilst I have been watching the Pre-prep, Lower and Upper School pupils at different events over this half term I have reflected on how proud I am of what a worthwhile journey we have all been on, as a school and as a staff body.

It is important work we undertake as educators and we take our craft seriously. We are not afraid to do things differently.  Every child is unique and for that you have to work hard to capture every last one of them with the concept that …. ‘You are allowed to do things differently’.  

Next half term I introduce my next Guest Blogger: Mr Rob Evans. (Y2 teacher). 

 

Lucy Ball

Deputy Head Teaching and Learning