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WEEK 24 - Friday 15 March 2024

Hello to all our Year 7 students and their families, 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on developing routines and expectations within lessons; whilst outside the lessons, we have been working on developing Kindness and Resilience with our year group. 

We are incredibly lucky to have a wide range of fabulous teachers who all enjoy imparting their knowledge and help our students to learn. However, we have been looking at how students feel in lessons and found that sometime the way we do things differs slightly- such as counting down for silence or raising our hand to signal the need to be silent. For some students these differences can be confusing, so I have been working to develop a more consistent approach, with small subtle changes and the benefits of this have been seen by teachers and the students. As this is proving beneficial, I am now rolling this out with more groups in the coming weeks. As I wrote last time, developing good routines and having high expectations can make significant differences to the learning environment and the positive culture that I am working to instil for the year group. 

Beyond the classroom, we continue to see our students changing friendship groups, having points where they are happy and sad, and trying to navigate the world of which a ‘pre-teen’ belongs. I don’t envy this and have had a number of conversations with parents who all agree that ‘It wasn’t like that when we were at school!’  

Last week, you should have received an email regarding the use of social media making clear that none of the students in our year group are old enough to be accessing these platforms; and, when they still do, it can often lead to unpleasantness for them. This is because they are too young to be able to deal with the multiple issues that can arise through online communication on shared platforms. It takes a great deal of work from us – as pastoral leaders – to repair relationships and to encourage kindness amongst the year group. Your support in ensuring that your child in Year 7 is not using these platforms is appreciated. 

This week the focus of my Year 7 Assembly was ‘Kindness’ and reflecting on the importance of the power of the words that we use; kindness, not only towards others but also on ourselves. Hopefully by the end of the assembly students could recognise that even the smallest amount of kindness can go a long way! I was bought a wonderful book by a colleague called ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ and within its pages are some of the most wonderful quotes about life and particularly 'kindness' - two of which stood out the most. "Nothing beats kindness," said the horse. It sits quietly beyond all things and "The funny thing is" said the Mole..."The tiniest act of kindness can save a life".  

When watching the daily news or reading the papers, it is very easy to become downhearted and feel overwhelmed by the levels of negativity and unhappiness across the globe, and now more than ever it seems appropriate that we take every opportunity possible to make another person smile. A simple act of kindness can have such an effect. And the best bit...Being kind is for everyone! That feeling you get when you see the impact of kindness can improve your whole day and hopefully inspire others to ‘pay it forward’ and do the same for others- The ripple effect.  

So, what are random acts of kindness? Listed below are a handful of examples of acts of kindness that could make a difference to someone: Pay someone a compliment, Smile at someone, Send a message to a friend you know is struggling, Do something nice for someone you may not know very well (hold a door open, get in touch, ask how they are), Help someone with their work/revision, Tell someone who you admire, why you admire them, Thank someone. Whilst being kind to others is important, so is remembering to be kind to yourself as well. With social media playing such a large part in our lives understanding what self-kindness means is imperative. Don't judge yourself harshly, don't hold yourself to impossibly high standards and stop comparing yourself to others for making a mistake, or not being good enough.  

I will leave on wishes for a wonderful, relaxing, and hopefully sunny Easter Holidays. Whatever you get up to when the holidays start, please enjoy and find time to make more precious memories. 

Take care and stay safe, 

Mrs Todd

Head of Year 7

Mrs Davies 

Assistant Head of Year 7