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What does the new Headmaster think?

Having been in the position of seeing a new leader start at my own children’s school, I believe it is important for parents to understand a little about the person that will guide the organisation that will assist me as a parent to develop the person my child will become in later years. I have therefore put together some of my ‘philosophical’ beliefs regarding education and schooling, which form the basis of the way I work.

  1.  A school is a ‘Learning Community’, where the philosophies of learning are instilled in everything we do and what is best for our students is at the heart of our decision making. It is not however, only the students that are learners in a school. A Learning Community is one where students, parents, teachers and the school community collaborate, reflect, develop and strive to constantly improve as we work towards excellence in all aspects of school life.
  2. Education is a triangle.  The child forming the top corner, parents and teacher forming the remaining corners.  The sides are built of effective communication and mutual respect.  In order to provide the very best education for the child, home and school must be working together.  As teachers, we must recognise the insights and assistance parents can provide and what a privilege it is to have the care of someone’s child for five hours a day.  Conversely, it is just as vital that parents recognise and respect our role as professionals.  When the three corners of the triangle are working together and heading toward the same goal the very best learning outcomes can be achieved.
  3. Every child has traits to celebrate and should be valued.   All children have something in them that we can like, love and celebrate  They have a contribution to make and their opinions, thoughts and feelings are as valuable and as valid as my own.  . Similarly, every person in our school community has opinions, thoughts and feelings that should be valued and respected.
  4. Every student is an individual, with his/her own set of capabilities, needs, deficits and potential. As a school we need to ensure that each student has an educational journey that enhances their capabilities, meets their needs, turns deficits into achievement and maximises their potential.
  5. Classroom and behaviour management begins and ends with a focus on the desired behaviour.  I believe the only behaviour I can control is my own but I can certainly influence the behaviour of children.  It is important to instil discipline, with reminders of the desired behaviour and enable children to become self-disciplined by fostering an understanding that all behaviour, good or bad, carries with it natural consequences.
  6. The way we behave as staff, parents and community members sets the standard that we should expect from our children. Dealing constructively with issues and looking for solutions is how we must operate, rather than focussing on recriminations and seeking our ‘pound of flesh’. Seeking positive solutions teaches our students to become constructive members of society rather than destructive. We should always behave the way we want our children to behave – do not underestimate the value of role modelling!
  7. I will not compromise when it comes to getting the best for our students, and I never settle for mediocrity! We must expect the best from our students and provide them with opportunities, experiences and skills to reach their fullest potential and turn them into life-long learners.  Rather than just demand excellence, I believe an important part of our role is to INSPIRE excellence.  It is my goal that the drive and determination to do ones very best becomes part of what the student wants to do, rather than just an expectation from others.
  8. ‘Do unto others…’   Remembering always to treat those I encounter in my personal and working life, as I myself would like to be treated, means I attempt to approach all children, parents, staff and community with respect, kindness and a keen interest in them and what is happening in their lives.
  9. Last but not least – a sense of humour is a vital ingredient to survive the day-to-day trials of education!  There is no doubt that there is a time for seriousness and flippancy has no place, but I believe the classroom, staffroom or home should be full of fun and laughter in order to build a sense of community, collegiality and caring – all essential .

I hope this provides you with a small insight into me as a teacher, headmaster and person, and I look forward to my future interactions with you all, be you students, parents or community members.