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Well, the first term is half way through, most of our students are immersed in their learning programs and we’re all probably looking forward to a couple of days break from the rigour of getting to school on time, the routine of classroom and sports field, keeping up with assignments and homework.
I hope you do indeed enjoy your long weekend! Please be sensible when travelling and aim for plenty of rest and downtime … the second half of the term is, if anything, more demanding than the first! The novelty of a new year, a new school for some, new subjects has worn off and we’re into the business of achieving the very best that we can at whatever we are doing.
That is the attitude that students need to adopt in order to achieve the very best from the range of learning opportunities they have each day. I came across this traditional rhyme a couple of days ago:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For want of a horse the rider was lost,
For want of a rider the battle was lost,
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
It’s a great little poem with a pretty sharp point … big things are lost, not necessarily because of big failures, but due to neglecting the smaller things, the details. In and of itself, a nail is neither glamorous, rare nor expensive. It is the place where the nail fits, the role it plays in holding something else together, that can make it a significant contributor to something big, significant, special.
Here at The Heritage School we want all of our students to aim high, to do the very best that they can do at whatever it is that they are doing. When students look back on their time at Heritage, they ought to see some big achievements along the way. As they look more closely they will see that those big things … battles and kingdoms … didn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere. Rather, they were built upon a series of smaller things … nails, horseshoes, horses and riders … small decisions about being consistent, developing a positive attitude, making choices for the good of self and others, sacrificing unnecessary activities in favour of beneficial ones.
To aim high requires that we focus on the details, not to get caught up in the details themselves, but to see them as important components in achieving success in bigger things. Students applying themselves to complete assignments to the best of their ability, regardless the subject; contributing enthusiastically to team sport activities, whether it is inter-school or inter-house; wearing the school uniform properly and with an appropriate sense of pride and ownership.
An attitude of excellence and doing your very best at whatever you are doing will set you up for a successful journey through life: I encourage our parents and families to both model and expect this from our students as they grow through their school experience.
As we come back in a few days’ time for the second half of this first term, there will be focus on some of the ‘nails’ and ‘horseshoes’, which may challenge some of our students’ attitudes and behaviour (such as wearing uniform correctly, demonstrating prompt attendance to classroom and other requirements, displaying appropriate respect to teachers and other members of the school community). If we as a school can get these and other basics right, we will continue to set our students up for success, at school and beyond. Please encourage, model and assist your children in looking for ways to improve their focus and effort in relevant activites.
Once again, I hope you enjoy a restful half term break from school and I look forward to continuing to work with you toward educating your children with an attitude of excellence.
Senior School Headmaster