☰ Ms Habgood's Latest Blog

Ms Habgood's Latest Blog

Posted on: September 18th 2015

I am pleased with the way our Reception pupils have settled, going in confidently in the mornings, and have really enjoyed beginning my author study with them on Quentin Blake - they’ve had such good ideas and answers to my questions! I’m also pleased with the refurbishments and our new Form 1 classrooms; it’s lovely to see last year’s Reception being the ‘top’ of their school (literally!) in the PrePrep building - it does help to instill a huge confidence to have a small nurturing environment and to feel ‘the oldest’ for a time.
Over on Muswell Avenue, we have successfully restructured the year groups into our Junior and Senior Prep departments and this has impacted positively on the children as well. They very much like being in ‘senior prep’ as it sounds so grown up, whilst for the Junior Prep having a nurturing and more gentle leap in Form 3 is having a great impact on their confidence and learning.

One thing that strikes me being back at school and engaging with the children is their ability to think for themselves and think more broadly about issues and the world around us. There is huge emphasis in our curriculum around ‘thinking skills’ and the importance of debate and process and I see our dedicated staff planning carefully for opportunities where children are exposed gently to the issues (at an age appropriate level) that surround us in the world. 

I feel strongly that it is our duty to not keep our children in a void but have the skill to teach about current affairs sensitively and in a manner that supports our children’s understanding and helps them to develop an opinion; this is far more empowering, and surprising how much our children want to engage in such essential debate. 

For example, my assembly on Monday was on Syria with Senior Prep - not with the hard hitting images that have been spread over the newspapers but with photos of children just like our children and talking about what was similar and different in their lives; finding out what they already knew or assumed and giving them relevant facts, in addition to asking them the question: Why do some people say ‘welcome migrants/refugees’ and others say we don’t want them? Having a high expectation always leads to high quality debate. They were excellent in their opinions and discussion and could speak articulately in both small groups and in front of the entire assembly. I know that Mr Jowett was also engaging Junior prep in writing a charter for children’s rights and was super impressed with their thoughts and rationale.

And finally, this morning a discussion with F6 about the difference between having a scientific philosophy/vision about the advancement of science and the philosophical and ethical questions it raises. We debated such things as ‘should scientists be allowed to change genes to eradicate disease?’ which led onto the debate about ‘designer babies’ and ‘if scientists could make time travel possible, should it be allowed?’- the children were animated, fascinated and thoroughly engaged with the topics discussed, debating so much that we almost missed lunch today! 

What a great start to the year’s learning with real thinking - I’m looking so forward to seeing what else our pupils can achieve with minds like this!

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