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Mrs Pattison’s Blog
The average 70 year old will have spent 9 years of his/her life watching TV, 6 years eating, 5 years waiting in a queue and 18 months on the toilet! Apparently 4 of his/her years will have been spent doing housework (which I’m afraid puts me well below average!) and a third of his/her life will have been spent sleeping (although I would suggest this is slightly less for teachers!)
Considering how much of our very precious time we spend on such activities quite naturally invites us to consider what we do with the rest of it! For example, today, in assembly, I asked every student in the school to consider how they are intending to spend their 7 week holiday (which is 51 days or 1,176 hours.) By my calculations, using the above ratios of time spent sleeping, eating and so on, that leaves us all with just 429 hours of ‘free’ time between July 12 and September 2.
Likewise, in considering how students have contributed their time and efforts across the year, one is naturally drawn to the incredible successes they have achieved and some of these were celebrated in the wonderful Lower School and Junior Prizegivings, along with the sports’ presentation events for Juniors & Lower School and Seniors. Once again this year, I was so very proud of everything the School and its students have achieved this year.
Recently, myself and the marketing department have been preparing the next series of welcomes to our website on the theme of ‘Today, I ….’. The intention with this is to show how our mantra of Every Girl, Every Day plays out in practice in the day-to-day events and successes that we celebrate and promote. In identifying where we have been successful, I believe that we should celebrate the outstanding triumphs, victories, trophies, certificates and accolades but that we should also look beyond these for success, which may have less wide-reaching impact but are equally meaningful.
So, while we applaud those students who play sport for their county or even their country, we equally commend those who bring in a personal best.
We were thrilled when our year 10s won first place in the Royal Society of Chemistry Challenge beating teams like Tiffin boys and St Paul’s, but we are as proud when a test result demonstrates that through hard work and thorough revision a student has got to grips with a topic she finds challenging.
I believe each student should personally identify what success looks and feels like for her and we recognise that this will be different for every single one. I believe that the School should celebrate these with her and help her consider what challenges will come next and how, together, we prepare for them.
We also celebrate the incredible awareness and character that every girl brings to her every day work in school. For example, when Year 8 spent the day designing, marketing, making – and, no doubt, tasting – a brand of chocolate, I was so pleased to see that one group had insisted their cocoa be sourced using the principles of Fair Trade. I write regularly about the excellent work of our Amnesty International Group; the buzz of activity created around the recent Refugee Day and the recent campaign to offer sanitary products for the Croydon Refugee Day Centre are superb examples of students leading the school in projects they feel strongly about. I was also delighted that on Pride Day, the entire school community took part in helping our LGBTQ+ community celebrate everything that the day stood for.
One of my favourite projects of the year has been one of the most simple to run. Mr King put a jigsaw puzzle outside his office one day this term and from this has grown a school-wide venture to complete even the most challenging puzzles. It has involved Senior students and Junior pupils (in smaller number due to its location), teachers, support staff, visitors, a couple of parents and even the governors of the School, each contributing a piece or two each time they walk past so that we can jointly celebrate the finished puzzle.
This is a wonderful analogy for how we celebrate success as a School. Every individual achievement contributing to the bigger picture of a busy, successful and thriving School.
Therefore, as the school year draws to a close, I would like to thank and congratulate every single student on her incredible successes of the year, whatever these have been. I would also congratulate and thank every single teacher and member of the support team who display dedication, genuine care and a love of what they do every single day.
I hope we can all use the time the summer offers positively. The excellent Time Out booklet produced by our marketing prefect Milla Booth (Y12) gives us lots of ideas and a copy was given to each girl in assembly this afternoon. I would also urge students to rest and relax over the summer in preparation for September. If the next school year proves to be anything like this one, they will need to!
With very best wishes,
Mrs Emma Pattison
August 22, 2019