Reflections on the week at school...
Looking around the school this week I have seen many examples of children feeling proud and a strong sense of school community.
The stand out event this week as far as the children were concerned has been 'Break the Rules Day'. We saw a whole school collection of crazy hair, nail varnish, sweet treats for break time, juice in water bottles and temporary tattoos everywhere! A great way to spend a Friday and a great way to raise valuable funds for Save the Children and for the school. The idea of Break the Rules day came from our Rights Respecting Committee and I think this is a really important point. The committee is made up of respresentatives from each year group who meet on a weekly basis with Mrs Holmes to explore a range of issues that matter to them, their classmates and our school community.
I met with the Rights Rangers (committee members) today and they told me that they had settled on a 'Break the Rules Day' because they felt it would raise money. They also wanted to do something to support the mental health of the school community, something that would allow all of the children here to have fun, freedom, and be able to express themselves. In addition to this they wanted to recognise National Children's Day, which took place on Sunday 20th November, as well as raising funds to put towards trips, activities and visitors coming in to school to make learning even more enjoyable! (This is where the idea of splitting the money raised between Save the Children and the school comes in.) It is worth noting at this point, that these really were their thoughts - I have just written down what the Rights Rangers told me.
What struck me during my conversation with the Rights Rangers was the deep sense of pride and school community that they have. They were able to explain to me exactly why 'Break the Rules Day' was chosen and how it would benefit everyone and there was real excitement and passion in their voices. They talked about each of the classrooms, not just their own. It was clear that they wanted the benefit to be felt across the entire school community.
I have seen this being repeated across the school this week, as our footballers took to the pitch on Wednesday evening to represent the school at both the girls and small schools football tournaments. The same thing happened when our netballers took to the court to play Offley on Thursday evening. Interestingly both of these evenings were cold, dark, windy and rainy (typical November weather you might say!). What I saw was a positive attitude in supporting their team mates, taking their turn to change positions and understanding that sometimes you need to be a substitute. They all had a healthy respect for each other and for their school community. It is always a lovely thing to see when one team is actively supporting and rooting for the other to win, because they recognise they are all connected by the school and are all part of our school community. This was the case at the small schools and girls football tournaments.
The playground at break and lunch times is another great example of this. Whether this is through Year 6 buddies playing with and supporting Reception pupils and/or Year 1 and 2 children (our Year 6 buddies really have risen to this responsibility this year) or through children supporting those who have had an accident or a friendship issue from any class, the sense of community is clear to be seen. Every child is playing their part, or learning how to play their part, in making sure our school community stays as strong as it is.
Conversations that you have at home will also have an impact on this. When you speak positively about the school, whether that be what your child has been taking part in, learning about or events that are currently happening, you are talking about the things that your child feels an attachment to and feels a responsibility for. They will very likely see that as praise for them - this is their school and they play an active part in so many of the decisions that are taken here. Feeling proud is a wonderful thing, it lifts people, it raises their self-belief, their confidence, their self-esteem and has a very positive impact on their mental health.
I wish you all a relaxing and enjoyable weekend ahead