The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 25th February 2022

Welcome back, and I hope everyone had an enjoyable half term break. This week our Year 8 pupils sat their Mock Common Entrance and Scholarship exams in preparation for their exams later in the Summer Term. Even before the results are known, they should all be very proud of themselves for their endeavour, hard work, and preparation for these exams.

On Monday of this week, the staff at St Christopher’s attended several training sessions at Brighton College Prep School. The most inspiring talk was on racism, called ‘Why Representation Really Matters’. It was delivered by Aisha Thomas, the founder of Representation Matters. Their mission statement is to ‘challenge the lack of representation and inequality in our current education system’. The harrowing statistics presented and moving first hand accounts of real, lived experiences of racism in schools were, at times, very uncomfortable to hear. What resonated with every teacher in the room was that classrooms must be a place of safety and security for all children.

At St Christopher’s, we do not shy away from discussions about racism or inequality. Instead, we try to tackle the issues head-on to ensure that all children feel safe and valued at our school. PSHE lessons explore inequality in all its forms as topics in themselves, but every single subject has “teachable moments” where staff encourage the children to confront issues such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. For example, Year 5 have recently discussed slavery and the concept of imperialism via the lens of studying Roman history. The Year 8 Scholarship Philosophy Mock Exam asked them to consider whether freedom of speech is dangerous as it encourages the dissemination of hatred. As a community, our core values of kindness and care of all stand against all forms of inequality. An example of this saw a splendid array of woolly, bobbly, or just plain outrageous headwear today, raising awareness of the inequality in our city between those who are homeless and those blessed with advantages they often take for granted.

On a final note, we have taken the first steps today to speak with the children about the conflict in Ukraine in a way that is accessible and appropriate to them. At this difficult time, we hope to reassure the children whilst retaining awareness that the world, as a community, has a duty to care for those who will inevitably suffer in times such as these. Newsround has good resources for children In Years 4 to 8 to help them understand what is currently happening in Ukraine.

Ms E Lyle, Head

Categories: Head's Reflections