BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
Spread a little kindness.
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” (Dalai Lama XIV). Kindness goes right to the core of the Dalai Lama’s fundamental belief in humanity and his optimism for the future. In ‘The Book of Joy’, a recent publication which chronicles a week long dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Both inspirational men talk at length of how witnessing kindness around them helped them endure more than fifty years of exile and crushing violence and oppression.
Today, unexpected acts of kindness on a truly sensational or global scale are so rare they easily go viral on the internet and make headlines, rather than go unnoticed as part and parcel of daily life. There are many extraordinary acts of compassion, kindness and courage by people towards others which really restore our faith in humankind. However, it is the ordinary opportunities to reach out to others which are as important. As Desmond Tutu puts it “The modern world is suspicious of compassion because we have accepted the belief that nature is red in tooth and claw and that we are fundamentally competing against everyone and everything”. This goes completely at odds with how we have been wired as Human Beings. Studies have shown that babies as young as 6 months old gravitate towards toys that reflect helping. Rather like engaging in strenuous exercise, when we help others, endorphins (happy hormones) are released into our brain. In addition kindness has a ripple effect. Being around kind people in turns encourages us to replicate this kindness. Even mice have an inner kindness. A study showed that “when two mice are together, if one is injured, the other will lick it” (Dalai Lama, 2016).
Kindness runs right through us all. As major global events, politicians and world leaders, international complexities and the constant threat of instability looms over us, one can’t help but feel something as simple as spreading a little kindness might go a long way.
Instead of re-telling a story of kindness gone viral, turned into a blockbuster movie or viewed 60 million times on Youtube, there are two glorious tales of kindness brought into the classroom of just about every 5-10 year old.
Who can forget the story of the ‘Mouse and the Lion’, by Aesop. A small mouse is caught by a lion, and instead of being eaten he is let go. Later on, the mouse comes across the lion trapped in a giant and strong net. With her teeth the mouse chews through the net and frees the lion, who earlier had saved her life. A small act of kindness which cost neither the lion or the mouse anything, but reaped enormous reward. This is where the quote “no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted” comes from.
What a wonderful sight greeted me on Wednesday morning as many boys and girls came to school wearing their family tartan. On this morning my idyllic Scottish existence was completed - views over the harbour, a sharp frost, stunning sun rise over the North Sea and kilts advancing towards me! All I needed was a Piper standing next to me.
During assembly, we learned about some of the family tartan on display, and I was able to give a little background to how I became the proud owner of a kilt, given to me by Catherine a few years ago. I learned what Haggis consisted of (I was fairly surprised!), and we listened to some brave volunteers read out Robbie Burns' Address to the Haggis.
Year 4 were asked what they took away from our Burns assembly:
I was asked what was in my sporran, I carry water! Joe
We wore kilts, tartan ties and tartan trousers – Charlie
There was a man who wrote so many poems in his life, Robert (Rabbie) Burns. - Maya and Alanya
Some children were wearing their family tartan and they told us about it. – Rachel
On Burns Night some of us had haggis, I didn’t! – Logan
Mr Goldsmith’s kilt isn’t his family tartan, his wife bought it for him – Rachel
We sang ‘Auld Lang Syne’ – Maya
I am on the look out for a Junior School pupils to join me outside school each morning to pipe or drum the children in, I couldn't imagine a more inspirational start to the day.
YEAR 3 ARE BRIGHT SPARKS
As part of their investigation into electrical safety the Year 3’s have been learning about how electricity works by constructing simple circuits. They have been experimenting with bulbs, buzzers and switches and represented their findings to share with the class.
CONGRATULATIONS TO EVIE
Our warmest congratulations go to Evie, featured below in the British Dressage Magazine. Evie competed at the BYRDS Scotland Championship Show as the youngest competitor, riding the youngest pony at the show. Well done, Evie!
YEAR 5 EMERGE AS HOMEWORK HEROES
Year 5 handed in their first round efforts of their Homework Heroes for the Unit ‘Diverse Scotland’ on Thursday of this week. The tasks ranged from collages of Scottish symbols, to writing a biography of a famous Scot, to researching famous Scottish recipes and much, much more. Mr McDonald was so impressed that he made a wall display of the tremendous efforts from Year 5 pupils. Trouble is, he ran out of wall space for all the tasks that were handed in! Well done Year 5 and keep it up!
YEAR 7 DESIGN THEIR OWN CITIES
As part of their Unit in Individuals and Societies on Globalisation, Year 7 have begun planning their own towns. Each town has to provide opportunities for its young people to flourish.
WHAT HAVE YEAR 1 BEEN UP TO THIS WEEK?