BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
I do hope your children have enjoyed the first weekend of the Easter holidays, and have been able to wind down after a busy term.
As I have reflected on the term just past, I have been able to consider many of the events we have enjoyed over the last 12 weeks, as well as the individual and team achievements of the children. Most recent in our memory is the tremendous production of 'Pirates of the Curry Bean', which delighted the audiences with imagination, colour, excitement and a refreshing tint of humour. In short, the children had the audience in stitches of laughter, whilst trying so desperately hard to stifle the laughter themselves. It was splendid to see the performers having such a great time, and this permeated to the audience as well.
It is humour I wish to devote this week's preamble to. One must never underestimate the value of a good sense of humour, and the ability to laugh with others and indeed at oneself. I wonder if you, like the Goldsmith family, enjoyed April Fool's Day on Saturday? Families up and down the country are afforded the opportunity to do what is so quintessentially British: spend the morning intent on tripping others up into believing the sublime and ridiculous (I won't share any of ours this year!). Even the media manage to jump on the bandwagon, and I especially enjoyed BBC's quip: "Government ban social media to under 18s".
Having a sense of humour has always been seen as an incredibly important pre-requesitive. Indeed, many job adverts specify a sense of humour as being an important quality for any successful candidate (this is especially important in teaching posts). As educators, we have seen a considerable emphasis placed on developing core skills in our children in order that they flourish in a rapidly changing global landscape, increasing their resilience to cope with changing pressures, and focusing on the soft skills required for them to make a difference to the world they are to inherit. These are absolutely vital, and as I have written and spoken about, we at St Leonards strongly believe our curriculum is best placed to enhance these skills for life.
There is no doubt that, as a society, we are navigating our way through unchartered waters, and the last twelve months have been no exception: Brexit, Donald Trump, even Celtic winning the Scottish Premiership(!). The art of collaboration, problem-solving, communication, kindness, tolerance, imagination and agility will be the skills our young people will need to engage with as they tackle global issues head on. Maintaining a sense of humour - not purile and superficial, but in the deeper sense of not taking oneself too seriously and being able to put set backs into perspective - will also be key to maintaining a compassionate society.
In assembly on Friday, I was delighted to present a number of class awards (as seen below). One of my favourite citations was the Class Teacher's Hero of the Term, awarded to a boy for "having the most wonderful sense of humour and being able to diffuse tensions within the class with great skill". I thought this was a wonderful reason to award this young lad this special prize, and it was rightly deserved. Yes, he is prepared to be serious and sober at the appropriate times and is in no way a show off, however he will be remembered by his friends as the one who sorted out issues with a calm and masterful sense of humour. The production last week will - in part - be remembered for its wonderful humour, a great art for children of this age. My feeble attempts at throwing some April Fools at Arthur will not be remembered, but I do hope we continue to promote and encourage our children's wonderful sense of humour, and we don't allow them to let societal pressure dampen their ability to laugh at themselves; it is going to be an important facet for the global community for years to come.
I wish all St Leonards families a happy Easter break.