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Mr King’s Blog

Is there anything so easy to waste as time?

I pondered the above this week (ironically) as I succumbed to a chain of videos in which the universal human trait of self-preservation was on display. Encouragingly, at least every other clip included people preventing catastrophe befalling someone else too.

It is no secret that teenagers quickly master the art of procrastination. Surely, in some way, it is evolutionary. Perhaps it is the growing brain’s way of switching off from navigating the various learning curves being asked of it. Repeatedly being treated as a child one moment, and an adult the next, with no signal to indicate at what point the switch had taken place is an understandably confusing place to be. So to switch off, immerse oneself in something inconsequential is something of a relief. It is also a safe place to be for a young person. Whatever the object of fascination, the killer of time, it is something which “speaks their language” at that moment.

In September we are hosting a Parent Conference as an opportunity for parents to hear from speakers on these issues and discuss.

My video watching gained me very little. I spent much more time wandering around the Art & 3D exhibition in the Senior Hall this week. I certainly gained from that. There was such variety of pieces on display and evidence of the work that had gone into it. I only wish visitors could have seen the sketchbooks out for moderation earlier in the week. Reams and reams of back story, of project development, insight gained, lessons learnt, artists appreciated, mistakes made in practice and then avoided in the real thing, journeys of self-discovery, desires to educate (not patronise) the audience – it was all there. From GCSE pupils finding political and social meaning in their work, through to A level artists reflecting on how they ended up working exclusively with materials that they never used to like, I was impressed by the bravery. So many pieces shared a part of a pupil’s life that would not necessarily be obvious at first glance. Courageous. My thanks to all the artists and designers, and to the Art & 3D department who helped them set up and display – the significant time put in by both groups was certainly not wasted.

So what else can we waste easily? Energy, money, friendship, effort, tears, worry? Quite possibly yes to all. But it strikes me that something which is perhaps more fragile than any of these is ‘opportunity’.  “You make your own luck” is valid to a point. School years do provide an almost unparalleled time of life in which opportunities exist, however.

I know the artists who displayed their work and they are not social recluses! They are normal members of their peer group and no doubt have wasted time in the way mentioned previously. I hope, however, they feel they have grasped the opportunity to give a little of themselves to something and felt the benefit of getting something back in terms of self-awareness?

There is much to do at Croydon High School, inside the classroom and out. We struggle to showcase it all, and are fiercely proud of the pupils who embody it. We encourage them all not to waste neither time nor opportunities, for both are increasingly valuable.

Mr King

Deputy Head (Welfare, Systems and Innovation)

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