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Headteacher’s Blog

New Year – New Aspirations

As we begin a new calendar year there is typically a flurry of conversations amongst friends and families about whether anyone has set and/or been successful with resolutions. As soon as Christmas is over marketing and advertising campaigns come in full steam to exploit vulnerabilities that people may have around weight loss, exercise regimes, organisation habits or other vices. To go with these adverts come many online advice blogs providing a steer on how to make the resolutions stick. It is all quite intimidating and does not necessarily create the environment that actually facilitates the change in behaviour that is so desperately craved.


Bringing about change, even if it is clearly intended for the better, is so very challenging. The scary online advice does of course highlight this – one site suggests that people have, at the very best, a one in two chance of being successful with a New Year’s resolution. The same website offers ten pointers for being successful. The advice includes: setting goals that are achievable; being mentally prepared for the challenge; being specific in the resolution; breaking the resolution into small chunks and regularly reviewing.  I am certainly not well placed to add to the huge volumes of guidance that exist on making resolutions stick, even if the list above looks suspiciously like a guide to revision; although I might suggest that it is best to steer well clear of clickbait promising the earth. It is important to work out what is right for a particular situation before picking out a plan.  There is one recurring piece of guidance however that I want to reflect on with which I whole-heartedly agree.


The role of sharing a goal with others is vital. Being surrounded by those who have your best interests at heart and an aligned set of values will help in making the change in behaviour that is needed in any resolution whether at the start, middle or end of the year. Sharing a goal typically takes two forms: perhaps it means working alongside someone who is on the same path; or maybe it means a coaching relationship where a friend acts as a guide to the steps required. In both approaches it is important to face up to the current situation and the context for why a change is needed. This, in itself, can be emotional and require support; a further endorsement of the need to share the goal with someone. Changing habits involves unpicking the foundations upon which they are based and involve some soul searching. Glib one-liners or click-throughs will rarely work.


I fear I have been drawn into sounding like a self-help book and offered too much advice here when the focus for this blog is the need to be surrounded by people who care. It is about finding the people who can be trusted to hold the balance between being direct and honest yet supportive. Whether parent, guardian, teacher or student helping each other strive for self-improvement is, for the significant majority, a community activity underpinned by a consistent set of values and shared common goal.

At the current time students and staff are exploring our shared values. Identifying these values allows our community to align behind the goal of improvement and excellence. In the coming weeks I will reach out to parents and guardians to reflect on these values. I look forward to hearing from you.



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Headteacher’s Blog – 22 October 2021 – Issue 1




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