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A little praise goes a long way – Headmaster’s Blog – Wednesday 23rd March 2016

March 23, 2016

A little praise goes a long way

Jersey Sports’ Tour praise

We recently had a Year 7 and 8 sports’ tour to Jersey, a trip we arrange annually. I was delighted and very proud to receive the following email from an unsolicited source:

Dear Mr Reid,        

      My wife and I visited the island to support our grandson who was playing for [school name]. By chance we flew there and back (the outbound landing in a force 10 cross- wind was VERY traumatic) with your school contingent. We saw the group during the rugby, hockey and football competitions and wish to compliment all involved for their manners and behaviour. The staff added humour to the discipline to reflect the spirit of the event and you should be very proud of the way that they represented your school – an impressive impression!                 

Character Building 

It’s human nature, I suppose, to dwell more on the criticisms at the expense of the compliments but I have to say that words of praise such as these are a real tonic! Much is being made in the Press about the importance of character building and citizenship and so it’s very satisfying to receive such comment from someone who doesn’t know us as a school at all.

Over the past two terms in whole-school assemblies (for Years 1 to 11) we have been re-considering the school aims, using some film clips from CS Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and linking all of this to characteristics we can make out of the letters in the word:

2016.3.22 HM blog

As a community and School Family we do all we can to foster what some might call ‘old fashioned’ discipline, good manners and polite behaviour seeking to serve rather than to be served. This type of behaviour is difficult to measure but is readily noticed, not least when we fall short. It is thus all the more encouraging, therefore, to receive such an email from people who don’t know us a school and who have witnessed the behaviour of some of our pupils, and the fine quality of staff members, over a period of time.

There’s also a message in here for me – perhaps for others – that it’s good not only to look for the good in others and in situations but also to compliment and commend rather than letting it pass by even though such behaviour may indeed be the norm.

 Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

For the blogs from our Jersey Tour please see Blog 1, Blog 2, Blog 3

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