Happy New Year and a warm welcome back to the start of a new term and calendar year at the Castle. It is customary at the start of a New Year for everyone to talk about and make New Year resolutions in a bid to improve a specific area of our lives we are going to try to improve. If I am honest, I am not a big fan of New Year resolutions, mainly because I have always struggled to achieve them or sustain the discipline required to reach the goal I have set myself. I do, however, believe that a New Year provides an opportunity to reflect and look forward to what we hope to achieve in the year ahead.
Over the course of this week and into the term I will be talking to the children about having ‘high expectations’ of what they want to achieve. The theory that if we set our goals and targets to be that little bit higher with the support, knowledge and confidence, that failure and making mistakes are part of the process, we will in the long run achieve even greater things.
During our staff inset days, we have been discussing this amongst our staff team and what a difference increasing our expectations can make to our own performance. Likewise, if we raise our expectations of the pupils we teach even more, it will, and can make a huge difference to their learning, achievements and performances. We all want to achieve great things, but occasionally we sit in our comfort zones of achievement and performance for fear of failure and making a mistake.
I want to encourage our children this year to raise their game in all areas of school life and to strive for those goals that perhaps in the past they would have thought was out of their reach. I take enormous pride in teaching and leading a wonderful school like Hatherop Castle. This is especially so when Hatherop pupils achieve great things, often surprising themselves and us, be that in the classroom by earning a maths badge; winning a cross country race or hockey tournament, producing a wonderful piece of art or mastering a complex song in music. I believe if we push our children that little bit more, have higher expectations of what they can achieve, whilst providing support when a small mistake or error is made, they will ultimately rise to this challenge, perform to a much greater level and achieve great things in whatever they are doing.