Friday 19th October 2018

Dear Parents,

Half term next week and a pause for a breather in what (to my mind) is usually the most productive term of the year. The boys and staff have worked hard and many are feeling the pinch of tiredness now.

When we get tired, we tend to make more mistakes. I was reflecting upon that as I observed the Director of Studies, Mr Frost, bring a group of boys kindly, but firmly to task following a playground altercation.  Our views on managing behaviour in schools has come on so far in the last few decades. At Homefield, we had a rule book in the 1960s and 1970s. Pages and pages of rules, many of which must have felt very arbitrary to the boys.

Now we expect a lot more, we have a set of values, we have clear codification through policy, but we help and expect boys to take a more active responsibility. All our boys are going to make mistakes (some many times). We need to give them guidance and draw clear lines and not ‘spoon feed’ them so they don’t think for themselves or improve for themselves. 

Amongst all matters around discipline, it’s also important to maintain compassion.  This week was a big opportunity for our Year 5 fellows to put all this to the test. We took them out to the countryside and away from the comfort and familiarity of home and school to see how they fared. Amongst climbing, rafting, kayaking and even laser mazes, all was good with excellent behaviour, responsibility and camaraderie (and one broken thumb managed bravely).  Four teachers;  Mr Fitzgerald, Mr Smith, Mr Hawkins and Mr Thompson, all pushing them onward. Good to know our boys can take this great behaviour out to the world.

Enjoy your half term break.

John Towers


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