BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
The best way to master school life is to find your personal sources of passion. Think about what goal is important to you. The more you care about a topic, the more comfortable you’ll feel speaking up about it. Susan Cain
I start today with a scenario for you all: imagine you arrive at a course, conference or seminar. You walk into the room and your heart sinks because you realise that you will have to be seated around tables, which undoubtedly means engaging in discussion. As you sit down, you see the first PowerPoint slide and the word on the screen jumps out at you: ‘ICEBREAKER’. At this point, you wish you had scheduled in a tactical stop at Starbucks to ensure you arrive five minutes into the first session, thus avoiding the awful charade of ‘getting to know everyone on the course’. You recover from the impromptu introductions, and settle into the session, listening to the speaker who rattles through his points. Slide ten arrives and your worst fears are realised: ‘GROUP TASK or DISCUSSION’. And so the day goes on….
As we prepare to celebrate 'World Book Week' (full reports next week), with a host of wonderful activities and events across the Pre-Prep and Prep, I want to share one of the most interesting books I have read: Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’. In this she sets out the case to promote the power of those whose voice is sometimes the quietest. She cites the Harvard Business School approach of promoting confidence and presence by ensuring your voice is the loudest, whilst highlighting Rosa Parks’s ability to galvanize a crowd through sheer silence, and yet demonstrating equal presence. Her sequel to ‘Quiet’, ‘Quiet Power’ is aimed at supporting introverted children in growing up in a world that is about confidence, collaboration and sometimes shouting the loudest to get heard.
The book has made me consider how we best utilise different teaching styles to suit introverted and extroverted personalities within our classrooms. Adapting to everyone’s individual needs and learning style is crucial, and that not every child will speak out in class (if they did, we would spend our entire time answering questions). This involves promoting both introverted and extroverted boys and girls. By this, I specifically refer to children who might have the following traits:
• Don’t want to be wrong
• Don’t want to be forced to be the centre of attention
• Might evoke feelings of anxiety if asked to contribute vocally in front of others
• Would rather speak when they have something worthwhile to say
• Are quiet, but not ‘disengaged’
• Might use a range of strategies to avoid forced or unexpected participation
In a landscape where 21st century learning is all about the buzz or hum of a busy, collaborative classroom, where constructively noisy working environments are encouraged, this book has really drawn me to how we get the very best out of children who prefer to learn in a quieter and less collaborative manner.
If you are interested, please do read Susan Cain’s books. There is an interesting section in ‘Quiet Power’ about how parents can support introverted children. Do also visit the Quiet Revolution website
As Jane Gandee, Head of St Swithun’s School, Winchester, says:
If we can listen to all the voices in our schools and all areas of society, we can create a generation of young people who will prioritize reaching out to others above the sound of their own voices.
Head Master's Commendations
Many congratulations to the following who were awarded the following certificates in Assembly on Monday morning:
5ZJ and 5SD: for the amazing models of volcanoes made.
Willow W, Jennifer W and Ella G: for producing outstanding work in the form of leaflets, which contain little games in French, consolidating words and phrases learned recently.
Sofia C, Siena L, Ebbe K, Isabelle S, Jonty O: for outstanding efforts in the 500 word story competition.
Charlie H: for creating a fantastic fact file on the planet Jupiter, putting in extra research and working independently.
Carys C and Yana V: for producing great independent work in French.
Katie K and William F: for creating a fantastic PowerPoint on snacks in French.
In addition, congratulations to Alma who was awarded a Blue Peter Badge for Music.
Spirit of St George's Awards
Nefeli M: for showing helpfulness and politeness at all times
Leo M: for always saying 'Good Morning' to all those around him.
Sports Players of the Week
Years 3 and 4: Isaac S, for teamwork, working incredibly hard during the game as a strong ball carrier, distributing the ball well out of the contact.
Years 5 and 6: Reya M, for pursuing excellence, playing out of position as a centre and doing a great job of moving the ball from defence to attack.
Years 7 and 8: Oliver P, for pursuing excellence, developing his rowing technique, both in PE lessons and at the Eton Excelsior Rowing Club, resulting in a great performance on Friday.
It was pancakes all the way on Tuesday. Year 2 enjoyed making some in the Food Tech room and then eating them with maple syrup, as they are studying Canada in geography. At lunchtime the kitchen provided pancakes for the whole school to enjoy, and the counters were decorated with lots of interesting 'pancake' facts!
Chamber Choir Sing Evensong
Congratulations to our Chamber Choir who sang at Evensong in St George’s Chapel on Shrove Tuesday. This gave the choristers a night off so that they could sing for Ash Wednesday. The Choir sang Malcolm Archer’s Berkshire Service and Sydney Campbell’s Praise to God in the Highest – a piece he wrote for the Choir of St George’s when he was organist here. The children’s singing was highly impressive and prompted many, many lovely comments from the congregation. Top marks!
Year 7 Talk on Dental Hygiene
On Wednesday morning a dental expert visited Year 7 to talk to them about teeth and how to maintain good oral hygiene. It was a really interesting talk and they all learnt a lot; particularly some effective brushing techniques. Harry W asked the reason for wisdom teeth. Apparently, they were originally to provide a second set of teeth when lack of care had rendered the original teeth useless. It may be that many of the pupils in Year 7 will never develop wisdom teeth, as evolution reflects that we no longer need them.
Volcanic Eruptions in 5SD
Year 5 have been studying volcanoes in geography and made some amazing models. On Wednesday 5SD had great fun with baking soda, vinegar and washing up liquid to produce the appearance of a physical eruption, with molten lava flowing down the sides of their volcanoes.
Reception Visit Bird World
Undaunted by the cold, wet weather on Friday, Reception had a fantastic trip to Bird World. They particularly enjoyed the penguins feeding and were given an opportunity to stroke a snake, a guinea pig and a giant snail.
Assembly Speaker Gary Richens
The assembly speaker on Friday was the Assistant Director Gary Richens who gave a talk on his own career and the variety of job opportunities that exist in the film industry. Gary has worked on a huge number of films including Johnny English, The Clash of the Titans and The Crown. The children asked lots of questions and when asked what had inspired him in his choice of career, he replied that he had been advised to do something that he would look forward to doing every day.
Butterflies and Caterpillars
Our very first 'Butterflies and Caterpillars' mother and toddler group took place in the Pre-Prep Hall. The group will run each month on a Friday during term time. Children between 18 months and 3 years are welcome to attend and begin to develop early independence and self-confidence. Our aim is to offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere with a range of activities including crafts, learning through play, music and story. Please register through the school website if you would like to join, and please spread the word to friends.
Sports Report - Week 7
This was the last week of rugby fixtures for Years 3 and 4 and the penultimate week of rugby fixtures for Years 5 - 8. It has been wonderful to see the progress each team and individual have made this term in setting weekly group and personal development targets. The Year 3 and 4 teams made a clean sweep in their fixtures on Friday, a strong finish to the season. The Years 5-8 teams are now eagerly anticipating their final fixtures on Wednesday against Daneshill.
On Thursday Lily D and Isla M took part in the IAPS swimming qualifiers. There was a fantastic effort from both girls, each finishing 2nd in their respective heats. We now await the results from IAPS to hear if they and Sam P have qualified for the finals. Fingers crossed!
On Friday four senior rowers -Tristan U-I, Seb M, Harry E and Oliver P - travelled to the Copper Box at the Olympic Park to take part in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships. Oliver finished in 8th place nationally in his age category, which is an incredible achievement.
It was with great sadness that we had to cancel our 14th annual Under 10 Rugby Festival on Saturday. The boys had been preparing well and I know they would have been disappointed at not being able to take part. Despite the event being cancelled, I must thank all staff who were involved in the organisation and set-up for the event prior to the cancellation. Our decision was certainly vindicated by the weather on Saturday morning. Fingers crossed for better weather this week.
U10 Netball v St Neots
The girls played in different teams this week and played the High 5 Format of netball, meaning there was lots of ball turnover and exciting match play in both games. In the U10A match there was some exciting end-to-end play, which resulted in some early goals. Liv D and Poppy J worked well in the circle and we were 3-0 up in the first quarter. The girls continued to work hard with Tilly W helping to move the ball through the centre court. Lily and Isla played exceptionally in defence and turned over lots of balls thrown by St Neot’s. St George’s had an injury half way through which resulted in us losing a player. The girls kept on fighting and although St Neot’s pulled a few goals back, we had a well-deserved 5-4 win. Well done Lily D on receiving player of the match. Final score 5-4 to St George’s.
In the U10B match there was also some fantastic end-to-end play and Reya M held her position extremely well throughout the game. There were some excellent interceptions by Charley W and Tabitha P and the ball was turned over on many occasions when St Neot’s put up a shot. Evie C and Leah H worked well together in the circle with some excellent shooting. A great team effort, and well done to Evie C, player of the match. Final score 14-4 to St George’s.
U11 Netball V St Neots
The U11A made a slow start to their match and found themselves 3-0 down in the first quarter. However the girls rallied, and with some excellent team spirit they got three goals back. In the second half the girls were challenged in both attack and defence. They kept calm and delivered some good, accurate passing, finishing the game with a winning goal. Well done to Isobel G, player of the match.
The U11B had a very close first half, with most of the girls playing out of position. There was some good use of space from Ella G and some good interceptions by Zahra Y. They had lots of possession but found it difficult to convert the goals. After a few changes at half time Bea A shot very well and deservedly got player of the match.
EASTER HOLIDAY CLUBS
If you are considering what might occupy your children over the Easter holiday, please note that sports and arts clubs will be run on site by School staff. Sports activity camps will run in the first and last weeks of the holiday and arts & crafts will be available during the mornings of the middle week. Further details and booking forms will be available shortly.
Last week all the Y7 pupils started the Tenner Challenge, which will continue for the next three weeks. This is an entrepreneurial initiative where pupils are loaned some money, and with it, develop their own profit-making business. They have been put into four teams and will learn how to create their own business, whether it be a product or a service. They will also learn how to work within a budget, make a simple business plan, present a sales pitch to our Finance Director as they would to a bank, and promote and organise a sales event. The focus of this initiative is teamwork and leadership, and we hope all the pupils will develop some new skills and enjoy the challenge.