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23 March 2018

posted 22 Mar 2018, 14:28 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 22 Mar 2018, 14:29 by Stephanie Williams ]
If you were in Assembly last week, you would have heard me read a comment from one of our seniors straight after a standardised Maths assessment. They said "Today I used a growth mindset in the PAT Maths test. When I came to a hard question I persevered and found my way around feeling negative and did my best. I also found understanding a few questions hard and I tried my best to understand."

I often wonder what it would have been like to go to school at a time when mistakes are welcomed, where understanding how connections are made in the brain, where 'if you can't learn to fail, you fail to learn' is celebrated. As I was deemed a good reader, when I wasn't working independently in a workbook (never marked),  I spent every reading session with another child reading on our own in the library! In my head it was for the entire Standard 4 (Year 6) but maybe I'm exaggerating. There appeared to be no expectation that I could go further or deeper in my learning. Out of sight....... out of mind!

Education has changed in so many ways within a world that has changed in so many ways. It needs to remain relevant and future orientated, while maintaining a strong human element. I often talk of the head and the heart... it's not an either or.

In author Paul Tough's book, "How Children Succeed: Confidence, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character", he talks about the growing evidence that inner resources count more....... .than anything else. I have a copy if anyone wants to borrow it. 

Character strengths are actively taught in classroom programmes, highlighted and drawn upon. As a staff, we acknowledge and call on each others' character strengths daily. You will see them clearly identified in our Positive Education model in last week's Newsletter piece. One of the commonly used free tools for adults is the VIA (Values in Action) Survey. This has been widely researched and used across all cultures. I know that some parents have also been interested in undertaking this survey.

There are many, many strengths - these 24 serve as a great start. My top 5 being humour, leadership, creativity, social intelligence and love....... I deliberately engage these daily - especially in times when I need greatest resilience.

I wonder what growing up may have been like if I understood myself at a deeper level earlier, instead of spending a year alone in a library?! (Well, according to my memory!)