Happy New Year! It has been lovely to welcome everyone back from our Christmas break and despite the challenge of getting out of bed early, the lack of afternoon snoozing, the break away from constant snacking and the cold weather, we have had a very positive week! For me, snow on the first day of term is beyond my wildest dreams so fingers crossed the rest of 2024 carries on in this same manner! 

The staff gathered at school last Friday for a day of INSET and planning and we enjoyed a fantastic training session about metacognition and helping our children understand how they learn, along with some superb strategies for helping children structure their learning to add greater depth or greater support. This is an area of education that we feel passionately about and this was a very important first step in what will be a key part of our future development planning. 

We began this week with a whole school assembly and, perhaps predictably, considered the year aheadallowing thoughts of promises or resolutions for 2024. I also asked everyone to reflect on this point last year and whether they remembered the challenges they had set then. If they could remember, the burning question was: had they managed to achieve their goal? It was a very comprehensive response with wonderful stories of goals met in musical instrument proficiency, drawing skills, sporting performances etc.  Quite rightly, many in the room felt proud of what they had achieved last year – impressive stuff! 

We were confident when looking ahead that a similar level of impressive achievement awaits in 2024, but as remarkable and ambitious as many resolutions tend to be, we spent time considering that sometimes doing extra, more or new things can feel overwhelming and perhaps sometimes it is ok to NOT do something as your target It is reasonable to assume there will be days when, for one reason or another, we simply don’t feel energetic, particularly happy, positive or even friendly. That is OK.  On these days, being outwardly positive in comment and action, and lifting or helping others can feel hard – that is also OK It is, however, very, very different from being unkindunhelpful or ungrateful, which are deliberate choices or actions.   

The impact of the two different scenarios are very different yet the choice is very small and actually very easy when you stop and think about it.  So, one of our ambitions is to NOT do certain things as much as we encourage people to do others! 

With this in mind, my suggestions as we look ahead to 2024 became more of a TO do or NOT to do list: 

  • Celebrate little wins – “sometimes ‘good’ is good enough” 
  • Be nice to myself (and others of course) 
  • Be kind; don’t be unkind 
  • Lift and help others 
  • Make a positive impact to someone or something whenever you can 
  • Look forward – there is always something to be positive about

We wish everyone an exciting and happy 2024 and a lovely weekend.