Over the past few weeks, my senior colleagues and I have been conducting interview practice with our older children in order to prepare them for senior school interviews. Entry to all senior schools in our area includes some kind of interview. Some are more formal than others, but all schools use the interview process to get to know the children and assess their deportment, manners, and speaking skills.
The children being interviewed have been delightful! Confident, knowledgeable, and well spoken with interesting things to say, they are a credit to their parents and to St Christopher’s. My advice to interviewees is that they must always be themselves, there is no point in trying to be anyone else. I am reminded of the Yiddish proverb, If I try to be like him, who will be like me? St Christopher’s pupils are unique individuals with individual talents and interests. Every one of them has something special to contribute to our school and to the wider world.
The message of uniqueness has also been reinforced this week as part of Children’s Mental Health Week. The first step in understanding ourselves and our feelings is embracing the fact that each one of us is unique. The children are also taught that all feelings are ok, but we can control what we do with those feelings. For example, being upset or angry can be a reasonable response to life’s ups and downs, but being unkind to someone because of those feelings is not acceptable, and talking to a parent or teacher is a much better choice. The children have also learned strategies for maintaining good mental health: mindfulness practise, naming our feelings, speaking to trusted adults when we are troubled, and getting enough sleep and exercise.
Many of you will have noticed the absence of Jackie Sayers from the gate in the second half of the week. Sadly, even the superhero that is Jackie can fall victim to Covid. Having her away has given all of us, and I do mean all of us, from Reception children to Senior Management, a pause for thought. The number of times a day we all think Jackie will fix that or Jackie will help me find that is truly staggering. We wish Jackie a very speedy recovery on behalf of the staff, parents, and children who depend on her for her calm and caring support for our work and play and we look forward to her return after half term.
Finally, I would like to wish all of our Year 8 children the very best of luck on their Mock Exams in the week after half term. They have all been working very hard and I am positive they will all do well.
Ms E Lyle, Head