The week got off to a colourful start with Odd Socks Day, the traditional heralding of Anti-Bullying Week in schools up and down the country. The message of this year’s campaign is Calling Out – challenging unkind behaviour whenever it appears, never being a bystander to someone else’s unhappiness. Wearing odd socks reminds children that no two human beings are the same, and that we are all different and all equal, despite the huge differences that may exist between us. You can find out more on page 3.
The idea of difference creating inequality is illustrated well in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, where Caliban is treated badly by those who arrive on his island simply because of his appearance and parentage. This story, almost certainly Shakespeare’s last work, was imaginatively presented by Year 5 on Monday evening as part of the annual Shakespeare Schools’ Festival at The Old Market in Hove. The Performing Arts are such an important part of our co-curricular life, and there are no less than three more drama productions to come before the end of term! You can see a picture of Year 5’s production above.
Exams have featured in the lives of our older children recently, with Year 7 sitting exams last week, and this week being the turn of Year 8 and those Year 6 pupils sitting the ISEB Pre-Test. The role of a Prep(aratory) school is to prepare children for senior school, and a very good example of this is exams. By introducing children to the process of formal assessments we aim to instil good habits in the children by the time they sit their final exams for their future schools in Year 8. The importance of sleep, turning off screens at least an hour before bedtime, the need for a proper breakfast despite a tummy full of butterflies; all of these should be second nature to our oldest children when they prepare for exams. Our teachers and visiting speakers also work with the children to encourage them to find their own strategies for effective revision. As the adolescent brain rewires itself, strategies that were effective lower down the school may not still work. Spider diagrams, mnemonics, post-it notes on the fridge, and even Mind Palacing are all approaches to try. When grades and percentages come back, the message, as ever, is that of the Growth Mindset. If things haven’t gone entirely to plan, learn from your mistakes and improve next time around.
Ms E Lyle, Head