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Confidence, Creativity and Connection

    01 April 2021

Confidence, Creativity and Connection

I’m sure you will agree the return to school has presented a wonderful opportunity for students to re-engage and connect with each other following a very unsettling period of time. Whilst remote learning proved to be a resounding success, it cannot possibly fully replace the whole school experience and offer the same opportunities for students to develop and achieve a perfect balance of rich academic experiences underpinned by a strong sense of wellbeing.

With the whole world so interconnected, as reflected in recent media responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, returning to a degree of normality at Sherfield has provided a distraction for us all and really highlighted the importance of connecting with each other at a much more local level.

One of the most noticeable observations during the last few weeks has been how much students have enjoyed the resumption of face-to-face contact. Schools are very empty and lonely places without students, so hearing laughter once more and observing how caring, considerate and kind our students are has been a welcome relief and wonderful to witness.

As we continue to promote our three core values of Confidence, Creativity and Connection the impact of students returning is tangible. Indeed, Confidence relates to developing an inherent belief in an ability to fulfil goals and helps to solve problems without giving up. For our students, maintaining positivity and developing a steely resilience in the face of the many challenges they encounter, whilst communicating effectively and giving opinions without offending others, is essential. Face to face contact has most definitely enabled students to develop in confidence and settle well together. Through creative approaches, our students have discovered innovative solutions for a whole range of problems, allowing them to continuously learn and to push boundaries. Again through a positive attitude and open mind, they have shown they are able to work together to seek solutions.

These underlying values clearly underpin success at Sherfield and promote a culture where diversity is celebrated and a kind culture is central. As we hear so often, ‘soft skills’ set you apart and will provide our students with the edge required for a successful future. Many of these softer skills are somewhat more difficult to develop through remote learning, so returning to a climate and culture where these can be nurtured and developed has been really beneficial.

In particular, these often relate to developing effective listening skills, establishing appropriate body language, making eye contact during face-to-face conversations, promoting self-awareness and reflection, collaborating with others as a team whilst demonstrating respect for each other. At Sherfield, there are an abundance of opportunities to develop all of these aspects.

Moving forwards, our school Teaching and Learning Group have been working on the development of a number of Learning Habits to provide a framework for discussion with students and facilitate skills development. In Junior Prep, you may have already heard about the new Learning Mascots: Cleo the Courageous Cat; Rosie the Resilient Rhino; Ricky the Resourceful Rabbit; Charlie the Collaborative Crocodile and Carlos the Creative Chameleon. Although the characters may not be quite as relevant with Seniors, the underlying theme and concept of being Resourceful, Resilient, Courageous, Collaborative and Creative should not be lost on students. Following the Easter break, students across the school will be engaging further with their understanding of these five key areas and I have no doubt we will be in touch to discuss how you can also support the development of these characteristics!

As a final farewell at the end of another interesting term at Sherfield, I wish you the very best of health during the Easter break and hope you are able to enjoy your time together. I look forward to welcoming you back for an exciting summer term.

News Senior Leadership Team Blog

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