The start of the New Year is always an opportunity for us all to reflect, not only on the twelve months past, but also on the year ahead. In school we are privileged to have two ‘new year starts’, as well as the three terms that give us the chance to re-evaluate, reflect and rebuild.
This is hugely important in a school context as every student can begin each term afresh; they can start again with renewed motivation, focus and new targets. Learning from past mistakes and heeding advice are fundamental concepts in education and at every age in school. The educational journey through school essentially consists of many ups and downs or successes and failures. The key to fulfilling or unlocking individual potential however ultimately rests upon viewing these as positive experiences along the learning road.
‘Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.’
We all need the opportunity to make a new start and at Westholme we want our students to be the ‘star’ in new starts. Starting over is a gift in school that does not always follow into adulthood! Many of us set resolutions in the New Year that are unrealistic or meaningless. They maybe broken before the end of January, unattainable or simply trite…is giving up chocolate or getting fit really a resolution of note? In assembly the first week of term I suggested that two worthy resolutions to make, that were meaningful to others.
1. To be ‘pure of heart’ – treat others fairly and kindly with no sense of prejudice (based on the 1995 film Babe – ‘this is the story of an unprejudiced heart.’)
2. To say sorry when you should and mean it.
We have just welcomed Year 6 children to Westholme for the 11+ Entrance Examination: despite the thunder and subsequent snowstorm, they took the next steps towards Senior School last week. New starts and new beginnings are often themes of the Spring Term and, seeing Year 6 children about to make one of the biggest changes in their lives, is exciting for them and a wonderful future prospect for us. Students from Years 7, 8 and 9 acted as welcome ambassadors for the day and these boys and girls did a super job, putting our visitors at their ease, despite the inclement weather! Our senior students have been engrossed in their own important examinations since the start of term and no doubt they will be relieved when they finish this week.
Infants and Juniors alike were no doubt thrilled to see the arrival of snow and the timing could not have been better for Year 1 children experiencing their Polar Explorers’ Day – perfect planning! In these Arctic temperatures the Juniors have been making the most of our indoor facilities with their highly competitive inter-house Sports Hall competitions. There are lots of pictures on our website showing that January has been an active and busy start to the term and year.
Westholme is a happy, thriving school community where every child, member of staff and parent is valued. As a school we must constantly reflect and evaluate what we do, learn from our mistakes and approach our aims with the renewed energy and vigour the new term and 2015 brings. We will continue to look forward and give all boys and girls the opportunity to be the star of starting anew – and so can we! All the best for 2015…
Lynne M Horner
19 January 2015