Dear Parents & Carers
This is the last newsletter for Term 1 and I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support this term. Next week we will finish the term with our Cross Country Event.
It is important at this time to reflect on our learnings from Term 1. It is a worthwhile activity for students to reflect on their work as well, to make connections between what they are learning and where they are heading; to celebrate their achievements and to plan for the next term. Recently I worked with Year 10 to reflect on their learning so far and we looked at the following questions -
Where am I going?
Where am I now?
What do I do next to move my learning forward?
This is a great set of reflection questions for everyone to use and worth a discussion at home in regards to this. With Year 10, we looked at their end goal for this year in terms of their grades and also where they might be heading in relation to career aspirations. This is particularly relevant with them planning their work experience. Students then reflected on where they are now in terms of their learning: Are they having ‘a go’ with their learning every day in every class? Are they concentrating in class? Are they completing work to their best standard? Are they adding to a positive learning environment? Year 10 students then mapped how they would move their learning forward from where they are to where they want to be by the end of the year using small achievable goals. It was a very valuable activity and gave me insight into the hopes and aspirations of this year group.
Our Pastoral Academic Care focus this week has been ‘Acts of Kindness’ (see more about this under Pastoral Academic Care Focus). I found it interesting that studies have shown that ‘it is the frequency of positive emotions, not their intensity, which builds students’ and our wellbeing most effectively and that this effect is multiplied when it involves doing good for others to feel good.’ Part of being human is a desire to feel wanted and loved. By helping others we feel a real sense of being valued and this leads to a positive mindset. Random acts of kindness not only make the person who is the beneficiary of the act, but also the person doing the act of kindness experience positive feelings. This sentiment is expressed beautifully in The Prayer of St Francis often called the Peace Prayer in the line ‘for it is in giving that we receive’. The whole prayer is about what we can do to make change in our world.
I wish you all a peaceful and restful holiday time and leave you with the St Francis’ ‘Peace Prayer’ -
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
What new learning will you undertake this week?