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Future Proofing Our Students

    01 July 2022

Future Proofing Our Students

Growing up as a child or teenager in a modern world is an interesting challenge! With the immediacy of advanced technology, instant access to information and interaction, which predominantly isn’t even face-to-face, every day presents a multitude of choices for young people. Do I? Don’t I? What happens if?  How do they navigate their way through such an accelerated experience of childhood and adolescence?

To add an interesting and thought-provoking perspective, in a hectic fast-paced existence, we sometimes lose our concept of time. So, consider this: the difference between 1918 and 1970 is the same as 1970 and 2022!  I’ll let that just sink in for a moment.  As someone who was born not too long after that date (1970 I might add rather than 1918!), it really made me think and reflect about the difference between my own formative years and the experience of our students and children today.

Another 52 years on will take us to 2074, so what will the individual and collective roles of our children be in shaping the direction of travel for humanity in general? How will they influence transformation in a politically charged and environmentally aware society?
As we project forwards into the future, what will it look like and how do we prepare young people for the challenges ahead?

It is certainly worth reflecting on what we are seeking to instil in our students:  the confidence to explore, be inquisitive and thrive on the experiences ahead; to be creative, resilient, respectful and ready to play their part in a global society; able to build positive relationships, through a shared identity, collective spirit and empathetic understanding of the needs of others as well as themselves.  Caring, considerate and kind individuals with the ability to lead and support others.  Through academic stretch and challenge, coupled with so many other fabulous experiences, our students are fortunate to engage in so many opportunities to develop and succeed.  All these experiences, even the failure, helps to guide and shape their future development.

I mentioned failure and of course this is always inevitable, so understanding that, without failure we cannot experience true success, is important.  How do we understand and feel the elation of success if we have not experienced the feeling of failure?  How we respond to failure is much more intriguing!  Sometimes, we are reluctant to push the boundaries for fear of failure and this is compounded by the immediacy of society today, where failure can become publicised so much more and amplified through social media and other platforms.

In our response to the challenges we face, it also useful to consider that perfection is an illusion, but ambition is real!  It’s the ambition to push on, to strive to be the best you can be and to enjoy the ride, which is truly inspiring. 

We have come to the end of another truly remarkable year at Sherfield School. The last few weeks of term have as always epitomized the Sherfield spirit which is so special.  Tremendous opportunities to spend time together:  Sports Day, Move Up Day, Peter Pan, The Greatest Showman, Twelfth Night, end of year trips and the Prom.  If you then consider all of the Duke of Edinburgh activities in the New Forest, Exmoor and Wales, the Year 5/6 residential to the Cotswolds, Year 7 and 8 adventure in the Ardèche, the History trip to the Battlefields of Northern Europe, ski trip to Canada, Sixth form visit to New York and so much more, we continue to push the boundaries, at a time when others continue standing still. 

A special mention at this stage to FOS (Friends of Sherfield):  the incredible commitment to the cause, they have been amazing once again this year.  The series of events and activities, from Family Fun Days, Fireworks Nights to Summer Balls and Proms they continue to support us in so many ways.  If you are keen to get involved in FOS, please do make contact as I know they are keen to include new members for September.

Please spare a thought also for all our Year 10 to 13 students who have been sitting public examinations through this period.  The culmination of so many years of education and their first experience of public examinations.  We will have the opportunity to share in their academic success in mid-August when they receive their GCSE and A-level results.  I would just like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on their endeavour, attitude, conscientious and mature approach to the examination series this year.  We are incredibly proud of you!

This year we have also been working hard on three key school priorities:  securing exceptional outcomes, through rich academically rigorous opportunities and high-quality learning and teaching; Building Ambitious Futures through a positive approach and developing the confidence and skills to be successful; and Positive and Inspiring Learning Experiences through a wide range of curricular and co-curricular opportunities.

Next year, our focus will alter slightly:  through a Connected Community; Culture of Challenge and Healthy Futures, we will continue to build strong and powerful relationships in which our children can take on increased ownership and responsibility in developing their school.  Through challenging ourselves and each other to be the best we can be, we will continue to raise the bar academically and develop softer skills essential for a bright future.  Finally, by understanding how to physically and mentally prepare for the life ahead, developing yourself and others though mutual respect, shared appreciation and empathy as we build a sustainable future.

Finally, thank you to all parents, family members, staff and of course our wonderful students for your unwavering commitment to Sherfield School.  We have a very special community and an exciting future to own.  Have a great summer break and I look forward to meeting again in September.

Kind regards

Mr Brain

Executive Head

News Senior Leadership Team Blog

News, Senior Leadership Team Blog

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