As we near the end of the year it is lovely to have some time to reflect on all that occurred in the last few busy weeks at the end of term. When presenting the character strength certificates to the children in Prep to Year 3, this opportunity also allowed me the opportunity to chat with the children about the importance of individual difference and how we all have particular strengths. It was also an appropriate time to remind them about the importance of gratitude – for their teachers, their parents and their friends. Often, at this time of year I hear children in shopping centres using the phrase “I want…”. I chatted with children in recent weeks about making sure that they show gratitude and that their holiday focus is not on being the “I want…” child.
In concluding the school year, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the parents and extended family of St Andrew’s as you are such an important part of what makes our school great. Research tells us that when parents are actively involved in their children’s education, the children do better at school. We are so fortunate to have parents, grandparents and family members involved in many aspects of school life. Some of the ways in which parents have been involved include: assisting in classrooms, with sporting teams, in music events, donations, library help, with events and fundraising as well as in many other areas.
I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my gratitude to our parents who, throughout the year, have been tireless in their support of teachers, their children and for the school as a whole. You assist greatly in making St Andrew’s the special place it is to learn and work. Best wishes to all families for an enjoyable holiday break and a wonderful Christmas.
Deputy Head of Primary (Prep - Year 3)
As we enter into the festive season I find myself drifting towards family traditions. One of these is buying a tree and decorating it as a family while watching our favourite Christmas movie, ‘Love Actually’. I feel the opening lines are very relevant at this time of year. A time when we reunite with family and then say farewells, a time when we put aside our worries and celebrate all that is good and also a time when we reflect on how fortunate we are.
“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.” - Love Actually
It was not the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport when we, as a Primary, farewelled our Year 6 students and where Mr. Bowen welcomed them to their “2nd Act” … it was in the RGC. There was a genuine feeling of care, pride, excitement, and love all wrapped into one present. I would like to wish all our Year 6 students the very best as they embark on their new educational journey and I look forward to following their progress. 2018 has been an exciting year with many successes, to our returning students in the Primary, I look forward to welcoming you back in 2019. A new year is an excellent opportunity to set new challenges and new goals. I referred to this at the Celebration of Learning. Let us, as a community, make the most of every day and every opportunity…no “what ifs’ or if onlys”.
I shall finish with a Scottish blessing often shared at New Year:
May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine upon your window pane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near to you and
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you
Mr Ben Dean
Deputy Head of Primary (Years 4 - 6)