I make no apologies for having the strapline ‘Adventure of Childhood’. I believe that a Hatherop education and the journey of learning should be an adventure.
During the past 18 months, the learning adventure each child has received has been very different, certainly from the one I would have liked them to receive, it has however, been an adventure. The skills they have developed have certainly been useful and should not be ignored or played down, whether it be an improvement in their digital expertise, their resilience or having to be flexible and adaptable when dealing with a variety of issues. I am extremely proud of how every Hatherop pupil adapted to how they had to learn during the pandemic and developed new techniques quickly.
As we begin a new academic year and welcome pupils, staff and parents back to the Castle, I am confident we will be able to resume and improve further the opportunities our pupils have at Hatherop. We have all had to sacrifice activities or opportunities over the past 18 months, but it is hoped and expected that we can reinstate opportunities that our pupils have enjoyed back in to their weekly timetables.
We start the new academic year in a strong position and I speak for all staff when I say we are excited about the year ahead. It is no surprise that one of our Hatherop values is Opportunity. We pride ourselves in the range of opportunities both in and out of the classroom and I will be urging all pupils to make the most of every opportunity on offer. I want to encourage all pupils to make the most of every opportunity and not shy away from trying something just because it is unknown or may be challenging. They should be supported to try an activity outside their comfort zone, and by ‘opening the door’ of one opportunity may lead to other activities or experiences. I am also keen that Hatherop pupils never take for granted the opportunity of attending a fabulous school and benefiting from the education they receive.
This term I will be reminding and urging pupils to appreciate what they have and make the most of every opportunity. I always remember my mum telling me when I was at school to try to have no regrets, to try to have a go at everything, rather than a week or month later regret I did not put myself forward or wish I had participated in that opportunity. Advice I still try to adopt today.
Richard Branson, the entrepreneur behind the Virgin business group found school challenging and struggled with learning, due to being dyslexic. He believes that his success in business and life was in part due to his relentlessness and curiosity which enabled him to not only take opportunities when they were available but also to proactively find and seek out opportunities for himself. This quote summarises Richard Branson’s attitude in school and in business and I am sure one of the many reasons he has been so successful.
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”
To summarise, by taking risks, opening doors of new opportunities and then doing your very best to be successful without fear of failure (if at first you don’t succeed, try again) is the adventure of childhood I want every child to have at Hatherop.