Family Instinct

Posted on: 25/09/2020

This week I have a guest blog from Mrs. Hunt, our Head of Lower School.

When Mrs. Drummond asked me to write a blog, my first reaction was one of panic! What would I write? What would be worthy? I have never been a fan of Facebook or the like because I think who would be interested in my life! 

I am genuinely never happier than when I am with my family; we are lucky enough to share the same interests and the adage of ‘families that play together, stay together’ rings true for us. That said, I find myself in a position which many of my friends and colleagues are facing or have faced. My baby is off to uni! This, and the fact that I am about to reach a very significant birthday, has made me somewhat more reflective than usual.

Many of you will know that I have been at St. Helen’s College for numerous years and was privileged enough to see both my children pass through the school. I have very fond memories of Tom staring lovingly through the nursery door, waving patiently as Miss Carmichael gently coaxed him back into her room.Whereas, a few years later, Lois would just burst in demanding the attention of Mrs. Mummy! How quickly those days flew by and how treasured they are.

When I show prospective parents around at Lower School, I often refer to the ‘feel’ of the school. I will always remember when Mr. Crehan showed me around in 1999 and how I knew it was not only where I wanted to work, but also where I wanted my children to start their schooling. I would also like to add how impressed I was by the fact that Mr. Crehan was able to refer to each child we saw by name, something I have always tried to emulate. (It is at this point that I can hear my new Year 1 children calling, ‘but you always get in a muddle’!! I refer back to that aforementioned birthday as an excuse and the fact that there are approximately 164 of them at LS and one of me!).

Anyway, going back to that ‘feeling’ you get inside when you know something is right; I have continued to trust that with many decisions, including future schools. I truly believe that when children are happy then they will learn. 

Late last year I became aware that my eldest, Tom, was not truly happy. He was at Swansea University, half way through his engineering degree. We would communicate by text and the occasional phone call and he would make the occasional comment that hinted that things were not as they should be. My instincts were on high alert and over the Christmas holidays my husband and I managed to get him to tell us what was wrong. It turned out that he had realised that engineering was not for him, which was not an easy decision for someone who had been committed to a career in engineering since his first box of Lego! Anyway, after a great deal of discussion, he left Swansea behind and set forth on his new career path to be a paramedic. He has been an ECA on the frontline since June and he loves every minute of it - it is wonderful to see that he is happy once more.

We are all currently coping in situations that none of us could have foreseen, but when I walk around the school I am greeted by joyful and happy children who, with dedicated support from the staff, are showing remarkable resilience and acceptance of their new normal. As I stand sentry at hometime, I am witness to more true happiness as I see them being reunited with you, their loved ones, their family. I am also delighted to report that despite our necessary adaptations, my recent prospective parents spontaneously commented on the ‘feel’ of the school and, I might add, complimented me on my ability to name the children we encountered! 

So in summary, is there a profound message in my blog? Well actually I think there is.

Family is everything. Treasure time together, laugh, cry, talk, listen and play together. Trust your instincts; they will serve you well.