students playing sports

The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 17th May 2024

students dancing

The process of exams continues at the top end of the school, with Year 7 taking their turn this week. I am always impressed with the calm and purposeful way St Christopher’s children respond at times like these. For half of our Year 8s, it is now officially All Over, and we have a varied and challenging programme of activities set up for them before the remainder of Year 8 finish and our 2024 Leavers’ Programme begins in earnest.

The best schools make use of what I call the “Hidden Curriculum” of skills that will be useful to the children both at senior school and, more importantly, in the world of employment that awaits them at the end of their education. On Tuesday this week we were pleased to welcome Young Enterprise, who have been working with us for a number of years, introducing the Enterprise Challenge. This is a “Dragons’ Den” style activity, where the children form companies in small groups to develop, market research, market, and eventually sell a product to the school community. All proceeds go to Little Lifesavers and the NSPCC. The first activity, which is always an eye-opener, introduced them to the world of personal finance – complete with such shocks as Income Tax, National Insurance, utility bills, and the cost of rental property in Brighton and Hove!

They are only a few days into their challenge, but already there is much work going on. Teamwork will be needed, as will effective delegation according to skills within the group. Marketing, PR, brand design, online content, and identifying their key demographic will also play a key part. They are encouraged to consult members of staff with particular expertise, but have been told that they can’t expect services for nothing – that’s not how business works. Will Mr Flint give you advice setting up an accounting spreadsheet? Will Mr D help laminate things? Yes, of course, in return for a discount on their first purchase from your company on Friday 7th June, when you open for business.

Once Year 7 have their exams out of the way next week, we will be giving them a similar taste of life beyond school. The positions of responsibility held in Year 8 are applied for in the traditional manner, with a letter of application and the possibility of an interview. I will be inviting candidates for next year’s Heads of School, House Captains, Sports Captains, Prefects, and other roles to outline their suitability for the job, and their vision for taking the role forward. Not everyone who applies is guaranteed a job, but this reflects my beliefs in the growth mindset and the development of resilience. As I said in a previous Head’s Reflections, to not put yourself forward for things for fear of disappointment is to greatly limit your life experience and opportunities.

Opportunities like these help St Christopher’s children develop interpersonal skills and explore new ways of working with other people, all of which will be valuable to them in the future.

Ms Elizabeth Lyle, Head

Categories: Head's Reflections