Thank, gosh, it’s Monday
On the first day back I talked to the pupils in assembly about not regretting the end of the holidays, but rather being excited about the beginning of the new term. They are at the starting line of something which could lead anywhere – the possibilities are limitless. As part of the assembly I urged them to take their cue from a trinity of cartoon characters: Spongebob Squarepants, Bob the Builder and Master Oogway.
Spongebob Squarepants is a character who just oozes positivity and optimism. I was particularly taken by his attitude to Mondays and I urged all the pupils to take a leaf out of his book on this. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out the video at bit.ly/1vRRCz6
Bob the Builder is equally positive. I was reminded of Bob over the Christmas period as his single, Can we fix it?, was the Christmas number one in the year 2000. His answer to the song’s question is always, of course, ‘Yes, we can.’ And he does it with a smile. No task is too difficult or tricky for him and his gang.
Finally, we have Master Oogway – a tortoise from the movie Kung Fu Panda. Last term I was very taken by a quotation of his which Mr Bennett introduced us to in assembly. It goes like this:
‘You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.’
Mr Bennett used Master Oogway to help introduce the idea of mindfulness. As you may know, mindfulness is something which we trialled last year in school and we will be rolling out more this year. Mindfulness is a response to the many pressures one can feel in our fast-paced and chaotic world and the anxieties which can build as a result of this. It is about focusing on the present, focusing on what you can control and not obsessing about what might be. Meditation naturally plays an important role in this.
We live in an age when we are bombarded by information, when everything moves so fast, when stress seems to be ubiquitous. It is important that young people learn how to take control of their own lives.
Well being must be at the heart of education these days. Young people need to learn how to live well-balanced lives and they need to keep their minds and bodies healthy. At the High School we obviously approach this from a variety of angles, whether it’s the talks from outside speakers in PSHE lessons, the focus on e-safety in ICT lessons, our Yoga Club or the nutritious food that we serve in the dining room. I hope that mindfulness will now become another string to this well being bow.
My best wishes for a healthy and mindful 2016.