From the headmaster's office

PUBLISHED: 05:42 09 February 2015

Setting achievable goals

Setting achievable goals

Archant

Resolutions with a difference are the way forward for 2015, says Robin Gainer, headmaster at Beeston Hall School at West Runton.

Instead of making the usual New Year resolutions to give things up, an alternative approach in January and February could be to take something new up instead. While there is nothing wrong with the very good intentions of trying to be healthier in mind and body after the holiday excesses (witness the sudden increase in Lycra-clad runners on the streets in January), it just seems more difficult to try to make unrealistic resolutions, most of which involve having less of something which gives you the most pleasure.

At school we will be encouraging the children to reflect a little on the past term and telling them that any resolutions need to be achievable, practical and with the strong likelihood that they will succeed. It seems pointless to set yourself goals which are simply unachievable, much better to make small, incremental, progressive steps towards small manageable goals, than giant leaps towards (likely) failure and disappointment.

Even the ambitious, and please don’t think we are not ambitious for the children, know the sky isn’t always the limit, whatever the books might say!

So, my New Year resolution is to encourage everyone to take something up, not give things up, and to set themselves goals which they are likely to be successful in. Good luck!

Opening up

Most schools will offer parents a prospectus and tour of the grounds, but John Crofts, headmaster at Glebe House School, Hunstanton, advises on how to make the most of school open days.

1 How flexible are you?

Many parents need their children’s education to be as flexible as their own routine. At Glebe House School we achieve this with a comprehensive wraparound programme that includes an early morning breakfast club from 6.15am, after-school activities up to 6.30pm and flexible boarding.

2 Should my child board at prep school?

While we have some pupils eager to board at eight or nine years, others prefer to join in slightly later. At Glebe, we offer flexi boarding which enables children to gain a taste of early independence in a fully-supported and fun environment.

3 What activities do you offer?

From golf, archeryand tennis, to creative workshops and performing arts, our programme changes seasonally and helps pupils enjoy a taste of many different pastimes. Always ask your school how regularly their activities change and how it encourages the next steps if a child shows a keen interest.

4 What residential trips are on offer?

From around eight or nine, our pupils can enjoy residential trips and this blends with our children’s enjoyment of boarding. From educational visits to York, London and Paris, to a week-long skiing trip, we aim to provide an enjoyable, educational experience that broadens children’s horizons.

5 What about school holidays?

For any working couple, juggling childcare during school holidays can be a tough challenge. As through the school term, we aim to provide a comprehensive programme of activities through our Eagle Sports Academy, with a blend of sporting, artistic and performing arts choices, and off-site trips.

6 How will my child reach their full potential?

This is perhaps the most important question to ask any prospective school. A full academic, sporting and performing arts programme is a given. Our relatively small numbers and high teacher-pupil ratios ensure a close relationship is formed, children are fully nurtured and their talents developed.

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