Pause for Thought

Posted on: 03/02/2023


Every morning as I drive to work I listen to Radio 2’s ‘Pause for Thought’. 

On Tuesday morning there was a Scottish minister discussing the kidology of how we present ourselves to people and how we always wish for them to see the shiny best of us, which of course is very natural. Think of a CV, for example: one always puts the best of what one has achieved. However, something really rattled me in his pause for thought  - he claimed that he must be the only Scotsman who does not play golf or drink whisky. I found this to be incredibly sexist - why did he not say ‘Scotsperson’!  Am I odd in that I am a Scotswoman who plays golf and has been known to enjoy a tipple from my hometown whiskey ‘Oban’.

I jest!  He in fact was making a very valid point in that often how we present ourselves to others is perhaps not quite who we really are most of the time. This got me thinking, though,  about all the staff who work here at St Helen’s College and how it is often impossible to only present a side of yourself which is the shiny best of us! Your children can detect in an instant when we are ‘faking’ it. Which makes it wonderful to come to work each day knowing that we really are being our true, authentic selves. I would say that of nearly everyone who works in schools with young people. Children themselves are open and honest and say things ‘as it is’, which can often lead to interesting discussions and conversations. But they can also detect when the adults around them are not being authentic and sincere. 

Earlier this week, as I toured prospective parents, we talked about adults and our working lives as three Year 2 pupils skipped down the pathway to their music lesson in the Evans Hall greeting us with a cheerful ‘Good Morning!’  The visitors chuckled and commented that they don’t ever remember being so happy when at school. It is testament to the staff at St. Helen’s College that the children are so happy in their learning and daily activities. But it works both ways; the staff are happy to be at work because of the lovely children we work with! When we notice a child is not happy then we will always strive to work with the parents and the child to unravel what may be making them feel this way and look to finding a solution.

We often ‘pause for thought’ here at St. Helen’s College. This morning on yet another prospective parent tour our Ducklings children paused to think about what made their boats float in the water tray - and why some maybe sank!  At Lower School the Owls children lay on their backs noticing the bubbles which Mrs. Hunt was blowing and the rise and fall of teddies on their chests as they calmly breathed. Kingfishers children sustained their attention on forming their letters correctly as music soothed them in the background, whilst in Nursery there were numerous questions as the dinosaurs from a Travelling Natural History Museum workshop ignited the children’s curiosity! Year 1 wowed our visitors with their mathematical knowledge and shared their learning on what subtraction was.

At the end of yet another busy week it is so important to ‘pause for thought’. Last night I attended a District meeting with approximately forty fellow Headteachers from other IAPS schools.  We had three guest speakers who were all very interesting but as I paused, listened to them and reflected on what we already offer here St. Helen’s College I was modestly so proud of who we are as a community.  Our pupils, staff and you as parents - we are authentic, we present ourselves as who we are without boasting and we always strive to be the best versions of who we can be.

So as you enter the weekend in this penultimate week before our half term break do pause for thought and be proud of all that we achieve together as the St. Helen’s College community!

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Ms Drummond