As the new academic year began, all our students have been to year-group assemblies led by our Principal Ms Hughes-Williams and our two Vice Principals Ms Clare and Mr Bennett.
First to speak was the Principal Ms Hughes-Williams, recapping for students the five school core values and of how central they are to the culture of the school. She spoke about being courageous and doing what is right – not always the easiest choice – and then having the honesty to take ownership of the decisions we have made. “To admit what we’ve done; good and bad.”
The Principal went on to encourage the students to be determined; to work as hard as we can, to be unafraid of making mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes and we can all learn from having the determination to do things.
Finishing up, Ms Hughes-Williams reminded students that the values of humour and kindness are essential to us. Humour is for everyone and laughter should always be an inclusive and shared experience and that we laugh with people, not at them. “And kindness is the cardinal value,” she said, “the one which is central to our school culture. It’s about respect for yourself, being kind to yourself, then you will treat others with consideration too.”
Routines and Habits
Next to speak was Ms Clare who spoke about personal and cultural habits. “One of the traits of successful people is that they’ve developed good habits,” she said. Right now, in school, we want all our students to build good habits and strengthen those habits for the future, whatever that future is, she explained.
Ms Clare said that routines and habits were about creating a background of good habits that one does not have to think about. “A reflex, like brushing your teeth.”
This is what we want to create in school she said and that we were introducing a set of routines for every class of every day. This way classes will be orderly and structured from beginning to end, to automate habits which free us up to learn. “In one week, you will have carried out these routines 25 times in your lessons. Building the habits of success,” said Ms Clare.
The final speaker was Mr Bennett who outlined what these routines would look like. Students were reminded that school starts at 8:50 and begins with punctual arrival at tutor time.
Mr Bennett further explained the details of tutor routines, the start and end of classes which include a welcome by the teacher, starter activities, prompt registration and a quick tidy up and chairs under at the end of class. Tutor time now also includes uniform and equipment checks to help students be prepared for the day and to make the best of their time at school.
“Everyone is onboard with these routines,” said Mr Bennett, “and all staff are helping to establish these good patterns of habit. All designed to help us all build the great habits of life-long success. You all deserve the best and every teacher here wants to help you achieve that goal.”