the weekly newsletter from EHS
Message from Mrs Rees - Kindness and gratitude
Our Year 13 Leadership Team got this week off to a great start with two important messages in their assembly: Kindness Counts and Gratitude Grows.
They encouraged their peers to focus on thoughtful acts. Building on last week’s message of the importance of self-care, they encouraged girls to be kind to themselves, each other, and the world around them. They have chosen “Acts of Kindness” as their theme for this year’s Legacy Cup. The Legacy Cup was an initiative introduced by our 2016-2017 Leadership Team to recognise a person or group of people who have personally taken the extra time to do something, either in school or outside of it, which others have found particularly supportive, helpful, kind, charitable or inspirational. The Legacy Cup is a way of showing gratitude for those small acts which go unacknowledged but make such a positive difference. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” I look forward to reading the girls’ nominations.
Undoubtedly this half term has been demandig. However, the spirit of the EHS community has remained positive. Whilst there have been challenges, and whilst we miss our favourite hobbies and the opportunity to socialise with our friends, we have taken time to be grateful for what have. It seems fitting that the Leadership Team’s assembly ended, as my Start of Term assembly began, on this theme. The girls recognised and celebrated the support and kindness that their teachers have shown throughout this period of virtual school. Throughout the term, girls from Nursery through to Year 13 have expressed their gratitude for the continued kindness and support of all staff, working across all areas of the school. I add my sincere thanks to these.
Gratitude has underpinned many of the conversations I have had this term with both girls and staff. We have taken time to notice and be grateful for the small things, and the things which just happen, but which we are often too busy to notice. Such as the very first early signs of snowdrops, which for me are always a welcome assurance that the brighter days of spring will soon be with us; this year it seems there was an increased hopeful symbolism attached to their bloom.
Each week I make a note of some of the highlights from the week. Over this term these have included:
Seeing Nursery "smashing it" with Humpty Dumpty eggs falling off their brick wall - the sheer joy of learning and glee on the girl's faces was wonderful. That is what makes teaching the best job in the world.
Simultaneously across the school, seeing Reception girls counting Speckled Frogs on the Log, Year 2 being challenged with Mathematical Problem Solving on SeeSaw, and Year 12 publishing an academic poster about the Fibonacci Sequence in nature. Challenge imbued all three Maths activities, and the fizz of learning was palpable.
Hearing the girls singing together again across the school for our School Birthday; this gave me goosebumps.
And, when I asked one of our Kindergarten pupils "What are you going to do today? Some numbers? Reading?" She replied: "Have fun!" which was the best answer she could have given.
We know that taking some time every day to think about things you are grateful for can have a significant and positive impact on how we feel. We are realistic enough to know that every day won’t be perfect. However when we focus on what we are grateful for negative emotions tend to dissipate and gratitude leads to happiness and positivity. As Cicero wrote: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” It has been inspiring to read the heartfelt notes of thanks which the girls have taken time to write this week, to friends, family members, mentors and teachers during their Form Time following the Leadership Team’s assembly; I hope that they will share them with you.
Thank you for your goodwill and support. Wishing you all a happy and healthy half term.
Deputy Head Academic