| Head's Blog

Harvest Festival 2
Harvest Festival 4
Harvest Festival 3
Harvest Festival 1
Harvest Festival

As the half term holiday comes hurtling towards us, it is a useful time to look back and reflect on an extremely productive and rewarding few weeks at Sherborne House.

There is no doubt that the return to school this term has been like no other that I have experienced in my career in education. What I have really appreciated is the ‘esprit de coeur’ of the entire Sherborne House community. The pupils have displayed joy and enthusiasm as they returned to school and it is really lovely to have the hustle and bustle of school life without the restriction of bubbling! Indeed, it was lovely to welcome parents for our Cheese and Wine evening earlier this term. It was a very sociable and happy occasion for all. We have been able to reinstate our class assemblies and has been wonderful that the children can show us what they have been learning.

At the start of September, we welcomed lots of new faces to the SHS family and, for the first time in what seems like a very long time, prepared to get back to ‘normal’. Everything which makes our school day so rich and varied seemed to make its welcome return. I know our pupils have enjoyed the highs (and lows!) of competitive sport and the range of co-curricular provision we offer. It really has been non-stop!

The nature of relationships amongst young people has been a topic extensively covered in the press this year, with a special OFSTED enquiry commissioned in the wake of allegations made via the Everyone’s Invited site. Indeed, one of the areas that ISI focussed on in our recent inspection was on the subject of ‘consent’. From our youngest to oldest pupils, we teach them to put kindness at the heart of their responsible choices made in relationships. Being kind isn’t always the easy choice – self-interest can lead to a desire to put others down. However, kindness is always the right choice and generally one finds that kindness begets kindness. Friendships, and, for older pupils, relationships, will be stronger, healthier and longer lasting if built on kindness.

There are many examples of the power of kindness to draw upon at an age appropriate level: From Winnie the Pooh - a little too fond of honey but the sort of friend who never lets Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and the gang down - to Jean Valjean who, in Les Misérables, emerges from his time in prison and blossoms into an almost impossibly good and generous man, there is a kind role model for everyone.

As well as promoting kind and responsible relationships, we also encourage permission seeking and giving in play, building the language, understanding and character which, in time, informs consent education. In the Pre-Prep playground, children know how to tell one another, ‘Stop, I don’t like that’; in the Prep, children are celebrated for their ability to stand up for what is right in the playground whilst nonetheless approaching their play with kindness and respect.

Our school community is made up of wonderful, brilliant, interesting people, individuals who deserve to form friendships and relationships that are underpinned with kindness and respect. We will actively explore what this means and how this is achieved with our pupils, encouraging them to believe that they should give and settle for nothing less.

I hope you all have a wonderful half-term; stay safe around bonfires and fireworks and I will see you all soon, ready to complete even more marvellous work.

Mark Beach