Reflections Tim Calvey

Dear Parents,

This week we started with an assembly theme of 'Responsibility', exploring what this could mean for each of us. My own reflection is that I suspect that schools put too much emphasis on age being a factor on this front. Last week I gave out badges of office to House Leaders and School Prefects and I don't doubt that they will occasionally hear comments like 'I expect more from you, you're a House Captain!' when they find themselves falling short - as we all do from time to time.

We are so lucky to have the starts that we all have through being a part of this community and therefore, I really do want everyone to be even more aware of the results of our responsibility. I would love every member of this community, regardless of age or badges, to take greater responsibility for the following:

Our possessions

All too often I see blazers, water bottles, bags, sports kit, books etc left in the quad or out on fields and I suspect that parents have that moment over the weekend when we quiz our children on where is your blazer...etc etc?!? A solution in the Calvey household was to go to Billings & Edmonds with birthday money to replace said item - we only had to do this once and we found that it motivated a little more care and responsibility!

Our words & actions

More importantly, I hope that we will all take greater care and accountability with our words and actions and again, this is not reserved to our senior pupils. There have been many occasions when I have dropped into a dispute in the quad to be told very quickly 'but he did this...' or 'she said that' as the starting point. I am always so impressed with children who are able to start with 'Sorry sir, I was upset and I said something that I shouldn't have', rather than blaming someone else first.

I suspect that the greatest hurdle to taking responsibility is the perceived consequences of getting something wrong - therefore the easy option is try to avoid responsibility in the first place. We certainly live a 'blame culture' where everyone appears to start by searching for fault elsewhere before scrutinising our own actions. This theme is very much linked to last week as we look to form good habits in our lives.

Whilst the sun shone...

The weather has simply been amazing this week and so it was great to join Year 5&6 as a true festival of cricket unfolded! Matches against other schools might well be on hold but that didn't stop the competitive side of our pupils from bubbling through...it was a great afternoon with something for everyone!

Gardening Edge

Gardening Edge had the perfect afternoon for getting the earth prepared, compost collected and preparation for an autumn plant...the new greenhouse and potting shed was literally a hive of activity with some interesting conversations...

What's a weed? Well, good question, it's actually any plant that's not in the right location...

Sir...is my sister a weed...she's often not in the right location!!!

Good luck to Zaki explaining that one! It was lovely to join the group as they turned over the various beds and prepared them for planting. Riya came to the rescue of a juicy worm, who was relocated to the safety of a vegetable bed and everyone was clearly enjoying their second Edge session - I'm tempted to introduce allotments as there are some serious gardeners here!

We had a lovely Friday Celebration Assembly this morning and I just want to flag Amaya in Yr5 who wrote to me over the summer with some thoughts. I've included just a few of the slides below:

Thank you Amaya, you have fast tracked an idea to the school committee as you make a very good case for girls to be allowed to choose to wear trousers - I spoke to a number of the senior girls who echoed exactly what you have said...when the school council meet, this is a topic to be tabled - well done! I love your points about tights, especially the last one!

I hope that over the past week and going forwards that some good conversations and reflections have been had about our individual responsibilities. It can be easy to solve the problem of a lost sock by simply buying another and we can allow conversations to start with blaming others rather than looking at our own words and actions.
However, I would love all of us to take the harder route of accepting where we have not taken responsibility - spending time seeking out the lost sock and starting a conversation by apologising for our words and actions in a dispute. I suspect that all of the above is easier than we think but we can be too quick to avoid this route. Let's be brave! Thank you as ever, and I wish everyone a lovely weekend.

Tim Calvey