I can’t quite believe we are already four weeks into the new academic year. It has been an absolute pleasure observing the girls settling into school life and seeing them thrive. Over the next few days, I will miss seeing them, the staff and many of you at morning drop off as I will be at the annual IAPS Heads’ Conference. I relish this time as it gives me the opportunity to speak to other Heads from all over the country and beyond and moreover, to reflect on our current practice in order to continue to make the school experience for the girls even better. This year, I am particularly looking forward to listening to lectures and seminars to learn more about creating cultures of thinking, the future of artificial intelligence in schools, and developments in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
At Channing, we promote the concept of being life-long learners to girls and the staff. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for staff is something that we greatly value. In addition to providing a comprehensive In-Service Education and Training (INSET) programme at the beginning of each term and at our weekly staff meetings, we encourage our teaching and support staff to attend professional development courses so that they continue to strengthen their knowledge and understanding. After all, as the educational landscape changes, teachers shift from being ‘gatekeepers of education’ to ‘choreographers of learning’ (The Future of Education Report, Google).
As I said at our Welcome Evening, we have become a Tooled Up Education school. This is an excellent resource for parents, as well as teachers, so we can all continue to learn together. The Tooled Up Team create evidence-based resources, including videos and papers on all aspects of parenting, education and family life, eg. about neurodiversity and sleep. You will be invited to the virtual Parent Launch on Wednesday 11 October 6-7pm (save the date) and will have access to the resources from Tuesday 31 October. I also recommend subscribing to the founder, Dr Kathy Weston’s, Wednesday Wisdom emails.
Last week, she wrote an excellent article: Mistakes and Mattering which resonated with me as many of the girls at school (and in fact I still do as an adult!) find it disheartening when they make mistakes. To learn more about Developing a Growth Mindset, I would recommend listening to this talk by Carol Dweck. At home, you can support and promote the concept of having a Growth Mindset and ‘I can’t do it…yet!’ by encouraging the girls to be resilient like Resilient Robin and persevere like Perseverance Squirrel. As Dr Kathy Weston wrote: ‘We have all made mistakes, but what did we learn from them? Mistakes are part of learning and also lead to innovation, improvement and betterment. Without them, we may never progress or move forward. Without them, we could and would never try harder, focus more, stretch or challenge ourselves.’
To all our families observing Yom Kippur, ‘G’mar chatimah tovah’.
With warm wishes
Miss Dina Hamalis
Head of the Junior School