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Please may I say ‘thank you’? – Headmaster’s Blog – Tuesday 3rd January 2017

January 3, 2017
Ballard School Thank you Blog

Please may I say ‘thank you’?

I have recently enjoyed a Christmas break visiting family in Liverpool. My grandson is 2 ½ years old and his parents have been very insistent about his ‘pleases and thankyous’ – much to my pleasure! Instead of being demanding (or at least in addition to!), he has to preface his requests / demands by pausing and considering how better to ask for something or to receive something. At a time of year when we receive so much, it’s important to have these ‘pause moments’ and to reflect.

It was with these manners in mind that I came across an article in the Daily Mail recently (not my choice of paper, you understand, but good for bold headlines and some exposes!). The article made reference to Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council (ISC):

The tradition of writing thank you notes is in decline among youngsters because of lax discipline from parents, according to the chairman of the Independent Schools Council. Barnaby Lenon, former Harrow headmaster, said he had seen an “attrition of manners” in today’s youth and “parents losing a grip on their children’s behaviour”, which means fewer feel compelled to show their gratitude. An over-reliance on technology has also contributed, he added.

I am not sure about the ‘lax discipline from parents’ but I do feel that in many areas of life the expressions of gratitude have gone or have diminished somewhat. I regularly find myself urging pupils via assemblies to hand write a ‘thank you’ note or card when they have been on a trip or received some special treat. Something handwritten, it seems to me, has the sense of a gratitude well considered – although, I usually add, at the very least ‘send a thank you email’! Pupils at Ballard are really good at orally giving thanks – even at the end of lessons – but I wonder if there might be a deeper need for us all to consider how much we receive from so many? Reintroducing ‘grace’ at lunch, as we did here in September, whilst directed at God also serves to remind us to be thankful for our food and to consider those who have produced, made and served it.

Ballard School Thank you Blog

The first Headmaster’s Blog of the year

So, forgive me if I haven’t thanked everyone personally (and in a handwritten form) for the many gifts received this past Christmas – I shall do better next year, I promise! In the meantime take this blog as a sincere ‘thank you’ for blessings received – and a wish that my readers will in turn receive much blessing in 2017.

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

We tweet from @BallardSchool

Ballard School is a non-selective, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire (on the Dorset/Hampshire border), providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here

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