Page 26 - Independent Schools Magazine
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Finding the right recipe for resilience
Dominic Price, Headmaster/Proprietor of Merton Court Prep, Kent, re ects on the Cross Association Junior Conference held earlier this month (March).
 It was indeed a rare privilege to chair the biennial Cross Association Junior Conference at beautiful Combe Abbey, Warwickshire –
and what a recipe for a great conference we had...
Take a strong dash of inspirational speakers and dynamic practical advice to Heads and their Deputies, add an eclectic mix of delegates, from all six Independent School Associations (GSA, HMC, IAPS,
ISA, Society of Heads & COBIS), stir in an excellent opportunity to share stories, network to make new friendships and strengthen old ones and voila – a marvellous medicine, to restore and recharge our professional and emotional batteries...
At a time when our regulatory inspection regime is becoming increasingly burdensome and distracting, at a time when Charitable Status is under constant, relentless challenge and at a time of increasing negativity by Central Government, with an
antipathy bordering on neglect, towards our Independent Sector, never, as school leaders, have
we had the need to be more grounded and self-re ective, whilst maintaining those vital leadership qualities of optimism, positivity and enthusiasm.
This conference was a unique opportunity for a show of real unity, across our sector, and, despite the heavy snow, delegates from a myriad of different sorts of schools, large and small, Trust and Proprietorial, arrived to enjoy a powerful gathering of like-minded folk, seeking to become better equipped and more con dent
in facing the vital challenges of Junior and Preparatory School Leadership.
‘Aiming for Excellence’ was the putative title of our conference. However, with invited speakers of the calibre of Barry Hymer, on Growth Mindset and on how to encourage parents who are keen to nurture a growth mindset
in their children, Dick Moore,
on the emotional and mental health of young people, and
how important is that special skill –‘Bouncebackability’, David Boddy on building resilient students, parents and schools by helping them to ‘Mind their Hearts’ and Nina Jackson on ‘Finding your Fizz’, using sherbert lemon –advice to help put the ‘ zz’ back into classrooms for teachers in need
of ‘mental wealth’, the themes
of Wellbeing and Resilience were very much to the forefront of our thoughts.
Wellbeing has, for some time now, been recognised as a key area of proactivity, for schools, in order to ensure better learning, emotional stability and personal success for children.
Whilst ‘wellbeing’ is now an oft-used word, along with its bedfellows of ‘mindfulness’ and ‘resilience’, many of us already do much in our schools to ensure a holistic approach to learning, with
He also plays hockey and rugby for Derby Grammar School and is a member of the school’s choir and award-winning Barbershop Choir. He plays in the school’s Swing Band and has embarked on his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award after achieving Silver and Bronze.
strong pastoral care, of our pupils, particularly in the Primary phase.
Increasingly though, schools
are having to consider how best
to help parents with their own wellbeing (as well as attending
to pupil wellbeing), working with parents to help them make sense of the pressures and stress of the everyday demands in their busy lives. This pressure and stress, impacts on their relationship with their children and also in turn impacts on their relationship with their children’s school. This, then has an inevitable ‘knock-on’ effect on school staff and school leaders.
So let’s make sure we also look after our most valued assets – our staff and our school leadership team, using advice, support and laughter especially.
Most importantly, however, let’s make sure we, as school leaders, look after ourselves...
The teenager is a member of Christian Union and a vital link between teaching staff and the pupil body in co-ordinating the school’s charity work with the YMCA. He also plays a key role in Derby Grammar School’s work with a school in Tanzania, helping to co-ordinate fundraising activities.
  Top national prize
A Derby Grammar School student visited the House of Lords to pick up a top national prize which was open to thousands of students across the country.
Elliot Butterworth was awarded the Independent Schools Association (ISA) Whitbread Memorial Prize 2017 by Lord Lexden, President of the ISA.
The prize recognises and celebrates outstanding involvement in, and service to, the wider aspect of school and community life; in conjunction with achieving academic excellence in GCSE results. It is open to 440 schools and 5,000 students across the country.
Elliot, of Etwall, is studying Physics, Maths and Further Maths in the Sixth Form at Derby Grammar
School after achieving six A* and three 9 grades in his GCSEs in 2017.
Elliot was accompanied by his parents and Carol Bramall, Head of Sixth Form at Derby Grammar School.
Lesley Reynolds, Acting Head at Derby Grammar School, congratulated Elliot on his achievement.
She said: “Elliot’s achievement
is outstanding, we are so proud
of him. The award is also justly deserved, he is a friendly and engaging individual and an excellent role model to our younger pupils.”
Elliot achieved a Gold award in the British Physics Olympiad in 2016 with his mark in the examination paper ranking in the top 10 of all entrants across the UK.
Elliot with Lord Lexden and Mrs Bramall
   26 Independent Schools Magazine
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