The Top 5 things I learned at the IAPS Conference this week:
- It affirmed my conviction about St Joseph’s In The Park’s unique ethos.
- Despite what it might claim on their websites, many schools struggle to truly understand the concept that “happy children learn”. We don’t.
- The collective noun for Head Teachers is “a procrastination”.
- Some Hotels in London are a triumph of style over substance.
- Rebecca Romero is “more legs than torso”.
Now, that last one is only because one of the speakers, Dan Hunt, headed the British Women’s Cycling Team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He was asked to speak at conference to describe his experiences in developing elite athletes. It was very interesting to reflect on my role as a Head and our school as a whole in the light of this and the other presentations on, amongst others, Climbing Everest, founding Coffee Republic and the RSA and social mobility. What I found from the 2 days at the start of this week was that our school is in a very strong place. Not only with the level of cohesion and commitment in the community, but also the philosophical underpinning of the school. So much is now being spouted in the press and learned journals about the need to develop a sense of well-being within children; that schools need to prepare their pupils for the workplaces of the future which will require compassion and resilience. Well, St Joseph’s In The Park already achieves that and more. Our children learn to be nice people; they understand and realise their character traits and develop an attitude to life and work and school that can only result in their eventual success in adult life, however that success in defined (that is a topic for another Friday Mailing). It was a delight to return to school on Tuesday and know we have one of the best and most forward-thinking schools around.