Friday 4th October 2019
We enjoyed a well-attended Open Day last weekend and I want to sincerely thank the large number of wonderfully positive parent volunteers and, of course, the boys that came along; they did us proud. In addition, it was lovely to see generations come together as Early Years opened their doors to grandparents today.
It’s the time of year for politicians to have party conferences, but also for us head teachers. I don’t know about the politicos, but we spent our time wisely and put children first. Again, top of our agenda was their well-being and mental health. The independent sector, and Homefield in particular, is on this like glue. Did you know that England appears to have the worst ‘cyberbullying’ problem for young people in any developed country (according to the OECD 2019)! We also know that 1 in 9 children experience real mental health problems, with prevalence around behavioural difficulties, anxiety and addiction; for younger boys that can mean internet and gaming addictions. This is why we look ahead to consider our curriculum and practical approaches to well-being.
We wish to build resilience, critical thinking skills and to use our valuable resource to make sure boys have the time and space to share concerns and to get help from us.
Please do expect more of this. Let’s anchor in the present and help the boys enjoy childhood; reading lots of books, climbing trees, footy on the field, science experiments, playing with Lego. A winning attitude can be complemented by also learning to fail, but let’s show them how to ‘fail forwards’ rather than get anxious, and to benefit from challenge. We do need to help the boys with this modern era and a technology and social media that, as parents, our generation really did not have to face so young.
Lots of treats this last week or so, with a round of great football fixtures, home and away, for our boys and also a couple of valuable music expeditions out to Dulwich and Charterhouse.
A final word for Kwame in Year 8, proving good deeds do get noticed: During elections this week for House Captain, this young leader, just ahead in the polls, stepped back and offered up the prize to his house mate Tom, believing him to be a good fellow and deserving of the job. If only more world leaders were as selfless, wise and kind as some of our boys! As ever, the behaviour and attitude of our boys is just remarkable.
PS: My annual information talk on all things senior transfer on Monday evening at 6.00 pm, is aimed at parents from Year 4 upwards who might like an introduction to such matters. Largely the same old jokes with a few updates!