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Tuesday 17th July 2012
Dear Parents, Carers and Friends
Today (Tuesday 17th July 2012) is a red letter day for Lady Lumley’s School. As storm clouds gathered over the playing fields and rain threatened to put a stop to the rescheduled sports day, the assembled crowd of students and staff were astonished and amazed to see the male staff team beat the students in the 4 by 100 metres relay. This is the first time in living memory (if you are under 30) that a staff team has won the final sports day event. The first straight leg was run by Andy Park who passed on to Steve Varey, running the difficult inside track. Using all his years of experience, Steve ran a fantastic leg and handed on to Dominic Wilson, whose blistering 100m opened up a gap on the other teams. The baton was passed to Matthew Smith and he had a clear lead as he entered the final straight. The crowd sensed they were witnessing something they would be telling their grandchildren, but, for one heart-stopping moment, Matthew stumbled 10 metres from the line. Heroically, he recovered and crossed the line in first place. Staff hearts restarted, and although a heavy cloudburst tried to cut short the celebrations, this day will be remembered for many a year to come.
Sunday 17th June 2012
Dear Parents, Carers and Friends
I apologise for the typographical mistakes on the front page of the newsletter this week – I put it down to excitement over the Olympic Torch and the fact I am absolutely appalling at typing. As I type this, four words in the last line have red squiggly lines under them! And yes, I should have proofread the article before I submitted it – sorry.
This does bring up an important point about schools and the way they are organised. We talk a lot at school (but still possibly not enough) about the work of Carol Dweck and closed and open mindsets. I referred you to the Radio 4 podcast by Matthew Syed on the same topic. We must get away from the idea of ‘ability’ and people being ‘able’ to do things or not. Obviously it helps to be tall to play basketball, but there are very few examples where ‘natural talent’ is, in any way, as significant a factor as effort and attitude. The reason I am poor at typing is nothing to do with my hands, my genes, my socio-economic status or how much sleep I got last night. It is because I put no effort into learning to type.
All (and I mean ALL) the evidence is that focussed effort and proper practice means we get better at doing things. I spend about 2 to 3 hours a day at a computer keyboard, yet I get no better at typing as I continue to do the same things (more red squiggly lines) (Or, as I typed it ‘more red squiggky klines’). Proper practice makes us all better at any task and all of us are capable of doing almost anything. The evidence is overwhelming, yet we continue to allow young (and older) people to say “I can’t do …..”. . “I’m no good at …..”.
All of us, parents, teachers and students, need to know, and say, that everyone can improve, everyone can do better. We must not put ceilings on people’s almost limitless potential.
The reason I can’t type is because I don’t use the help available to me learn to type. I could, if I wanted, and there was someone there to help me. The great thing about schools is that they are full of people who want to help.
Page last modified on: 04/23/12 09:34:19