A really lovely aspect of my role is that I have the privilege to observe a lot of lessons.
A really lovely aspect of my role is that I have the privilege to observe a lot of lessons. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have observed everything from English, Mathematics, History, Science, French, and Spanish. I naturally drop in and out of lessons but to be able to see a whole hour’s learning is very special. Of particular note last week, was a Year 8 History lesson. I have been fortunate enough to have seen this class in a variety of lessons, but what struck me in their History lesson, was the way in which the girls worked on a whole range of tasks – from making group presentations to individually challenging the opinions and values of others in the class. I was really impressed with the way in which our girls were able to share their views, as well as eloquently contest those of others. This level of debate not only requires strong subject knowledge but it necessitates an element of bravery. This week our theme is ‘courage’. The Oxford Dictionary defines this as ‘the ability to do something that frightens one’ and ‘strength in the face of pain or grief’. I know that for a lot of our girls, a common form of feedback from their teachers is that they are quiet and should ‘speak up’ in lessons more often. So, I do understand that to take that a step further and speak up against a fellow student, it clearly requires an element of both challenge and nerve, along with a thoughtful insight into what is being discussed. So, I was therefore thrilled to see this skill in youngsters who are only twelve years old! There are many famous people that we can associate with ‘courage’ – Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandella, Rosa Parks and Emmeline Pankhurst to name but a few. What they all have in common is that they had a vision and an opinion; they were confident to share this with others. Our Year 8 students are undoubtedly developing this ability, very ably supported by Mrs Geldard – well done girls!
Steve Jobs is quoted as saying ‘our time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. This week, not only is our theme one of ‘courage’ but it is also our RAG (Raise and Give) week. There will be a large number of students who will be participating in our RAG Dance Show and other fund raising events such as: ‘Would I Lie to You?’ ‘Man o Man’ and ‘IGS Factor’. I have no doubt that our students’ ability to do something that frightens them will be reinforced in these ‘fun filled’ events – whereby they will put themselves forward to do silly things to raise money. This is what education is all about – one minute having the courage to debate and share opinions, and the next minute being on stage to entertain! Life is never dull at Invicta. I am certainly looking forward to the week ahead – not only do we have our RAG events, but we also have our annual Carol Service. Once again, an opportunity to combine the courage needed in a personal performance, but also a time for celebration and reflection; whereby our ‘heart and intuition’ as Steve Jobs points out, is essential.