Headmaster's Highlights

Friday 31st January 2020

Dear Parents

Our attention focused on well-being, and ‘finding our brave’ realised some great outcomes. The staff set a good pace as role models, showing the boys how to express and share feelings and also when to ‘dig deep’ and be brave. From Mr Fitzgerald’s Scottish poetry to Mr Meyers’s juggling, we saw some big men who showed the boys that they are unafraid to take risks and perhaps even fail.

Sadly, in the wider world, our boys don’t need to look far to be across less helpful models of ‘toxic masculinity’, especially in the media. Added to this worry is easy access children have to such. ‘Childwise’ published research this week finding that more than half of seven year olds now have a smart phone and that half of children are allowed to go bed with such a device.

A real worry. What’s wrong with a teddy bear? You can give it love and it won’t give you insomnia, cyber bullying, safeguarding and mental health issues... just lovely warm cuddles!

I digress, the main thing is we have been sharing a healthier take on life in the school, talking to the boys about when they have been nervous or afraid and how they stood up to that.

Being a boy/young man and expressing your emotion, without fear, is part of what we should be teaching.

Here is a ‘recipe’ from Ismail in Year 4:

First, a cup of confidence with 25ml of belief

Second, two spoons of strength and add a drop of laughter

Next, mix a touch of grit, 50ml of determination

Then pour a cup of enthusiasm with a litre of support

After that, add a pinch of kindness with respect

Finally mix it all together and then you have your jar of courage.

…and on good role models, a nod to one of our Old Boys: Mr Simon Everest, who was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours. Simon went from Homefield to Dulwich and then onto a distinguished career in both the MoD and Civil Service. Luckily for us, Simon has now flown back to the learning nest and sits on our Board of Trustees.

We have lots of parents in this week in the Senior Department for teacher consultation. Thanks for your support with that.

We also have a parent questionnaire open at the moment. I know these things are dull, but our one only takes 5 minutes! The data can be really useful to us. For example, last time we did questionnaires we discovered you all really liked our after school clubs and our trips… so, consequently, we just did more.

Please do click this link, enter the password and share some of your perspectives with us:

https://survey.gl-assessment.co.uk/s/UISYR/

Finally, a diary reminder:

On Friday 14th February, the School is CLOSED FOR INSET.

Have a good weekend.

John Towers

Headmaster