Our four day week has ended with our first Curriculum Enhancement Day (CED) with Year 7, 8 and 9 presenting their Autobiographical projects, Year 10 spending their morning exploring study skills and then heading off for some fitness activities. Our lovely Year 11 had some Sex Ed whilst Maths and Science joined forces with Year 12 and Year 13 to spend a day with the Languages department.
I often chat to staff about our school and the conversation goes something like this, ‘I wish my school had been like BSM’. I’m sure most of you will have similar conversations with other parents. Times have sure changed! When I was attending a large comprehensive school in a village in Yorkshire, my main objective was getting through the day unscathed. I’m happy to report back I managed this on most days, just in case you were wondering! Anyhow, the thought of a CED would have just been absurd. But my, what a difference this would have made to children in my school. A day dedicated to enriching our lives, equipping us with skills, knowledge and opportunities to explore, fail and conquer our fears. Cue a pause for reflection…
Daniel L Pink says that sadly for ‘too long, we’ve believed in a single path to excellence. Start early, specialise soon, narrow your focus, aim for efficiency’. In a recent book I have been flicking through ‘Why generalists triumph in a specialised world’ the way to excellence is through something entirely different. ‘Sample widely, gain a breadth of experiences, take detours and experiment relentlessly’. Our students, your children are living in a world that is different to the world we grew up in, for better and worse and knowing this, we have a responsibility to create an environment both at home and school that allows them to flourish and prepares them for life, in the good times and the bad. This can’t be achieved only in the classroom and so we have to think creatively about how we achieve this and our CEDs and Well-being days are just one of the ways we address this. They allow for the development of resilience, encourage trying new things and provoke thoughts to question the unknown or the widely believed (and of course we might have a bit of FUN along the way).
In support of the optimists out there, our world is a wonderful place and one that our children will wander out into one day, hopefully finding contentment and fulfillment along the way. Of course, CEDs don’t hold all the answers but they are a way of providing students with opportunities to view the world from a different perspective and that can only ever be a good thing in my view.
Over the long weekend, I encourage you to view things with a wider lens, especially if those differences in opinion are coming from your children. They are not always right but a voice that is heard and valued is super important to them (even if they are wrong!). Try and understand the world they are living in, whatever that world may be in the moment.
Have a restful, rich and content next few days and I look forward to seeing you all next week.
Next Week is Week A.