Happiness and Success
It has been a real joy to welcome our newest cohort of learners this week. I have enjoyed popping into Learning Groups and meeting all of the children. What has impressed me the most is their readiness to get involved. It is a daunting thing coming to a new school and for some of our learners they have had to leave many of their friends behind as they all begin paths at different schools. It has really got me reflecting on the experience my own son will receive when he goes through this
process. What I would hope he experiences is a warm welcome. One where the teachers make him feel valued and from day one work at building a positive relationship with him and his peers. That is what I saw this week at Honywood. Our Learning Group Leaders did a great job at warming up our learners; some of whom were a bit nervous and apprehensive at the start of the day. It was a real delight to see how, over a short space of time, they began to grow. They left school with smiles on their faces. I think as a parent myself that is what I want for my own children.
At Honywood it is really important that learners leave us happy as well as successful. In my experience this is only possible through effective and positive relationships. I have been speaking with staff about this very thing this week – we believe that to prepare learners for the future they must be able to build and sustain networks of relationships.
‘He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary’
The tagline from Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society; a film featuring the highly acclaimed performance by the late Robin Williams as Mr Keating the English teacher. The film, set in a world where the pressure to succeed is high, tells the story of the relationship that Mr Keating develops with his students. These relationships are arguably what set the students free from the shackles of the pressure to succeed. Through these relationships he inspired them to meet their potential. Dead Poets Society begs the question:
‘Is effective teaching more about good relationships than anything else?’
I think there is some merit in this question. Our goal of happiness and success cannot be achieved if we just focus on academic rigour. I am not saying academic study is not important. In fact I think it is vitally important. However, without a focus on relationships we will not be able to create a support network and ethos that creates success. Leadership theory tells us that relationships are important; if you want people to follow you, they have to believe in you. If you want to truly lead learners through their learning journey then the foundation is relationships.
A good friend once told me that relationships are all about communication; if there is no communication, then there is no relationship. Our teachers know that relationships are at the heart of great teaching. Getting to know our learners as individuals continues to be a key part of how we approach learning at Honywood. I am very much looking forward to seeing our new cohort develop over the next year.
End of term arrangements and start of term
Wednesday 24th July is the last day of this school year, the arrangements for the day are as follows:
8.55 Learning Session 1
10.45 Learning Session 2
11.45 Registration / LS3 / Assembly
12.50 Learners depart
School buses have been notified of this change in pickup time.