Assemblies are such an important part of the school week. They offer an opportunity for the students and staff to come together in their own House community and they provide a forum for delivering important messages that we want everyone to take on board. I will quite often use assemblies to pass messages on to staff as much as to the pupils.
Last week my assembly was titled ‘From Special Measures to an ethic of Ernesford Excellence’. This is a concept that we are working hard to develop across the academy. I find that as staff we often get so engrossed in driving forward with the improvements we are making that we sometimes forget to highlight these positive changes to the students. I wanted to stress how important it was to develop a cohesive school community, where everyone feels a sense of belonging and responsibility for the improvements that are being made. I also strongly believe that if we are to continue to shift the peer culture to one of pride in being a member of the Ernesford Grange Community, that we need to reinforce that Ernesford Grange belongs to the students as much as the staff and that the success of our improvements are as much a result of the improved efforts of the children as anything else.
A Culture of Learning
One of the key points we are continually reinforcing with students is the development of the learning culture. We are all lifelong learners and students don’t always recognise that. We need to support our young people to build resilience and encourage them to make mistakes as it is from these small failures that we learn the strategies for success. Children often fear failure and would rather not try at all than make a mistake; it is our job to encourage the mistakes and offer a safe environment in which to do that. I also took the opportunity to remind students that no one has the right to stop anyone else from learning. We are all privileged to be in a position where we are provided with a free education and no one has the right to deprive others of the opportunity to learn.
Respect, determination and kindness
Never wanting to miss an opportunity to reinforce our core values chosen last year by the students and staff collectively, I will always refer to them in every assembly. They are the foundations upon which our school culture is built and it is my vision that all our students will live the rest of their lives with these values running through everything they do.
The final part of the assembly was a video clip of an American Navy Commander talking about a series of training exercises his junior recruits had to endure. The essence of the clip was that completing the small tasks would lead to a feeling of success and encouragement to try to achieve harder tasks. The video epitomises everything we are trying to do at Ernesford as we develop our young people into citizens who will go out into the world showing respect for everyone, understanding that they will fail often and that through perseverance and showing kindness to all, every single one of them is capable of changing the world for the better. And if you have found that your child has been making their bed everyday recently, this clip might just be the reason why.