11 Jan

New Year's Resolutions

We have reached the end of the first week back and the end of the first working week in 2019. We congratulate all on getting through the week. It is something of a shock to the system to return after any holiday but a particular shock having had (hopefully) a fantastic Christmas and New Year break. The January weather and the prospect of continuing cold and dark nights can make that return particularly difficult. 
It is, as we are all aware, the season of resolutions. Many of us will have made New Year’s resolutions. I have again resolved to not drinking coffee for the half term. In fact, I started on New Year’s Day and will run through until the evening of 15th February. Although it isn’t a significant resolution it does offer me the opportunity to challenge myself. You will know that I certainly enjoy a decent coffee and having to abstain for seven weeks focuses the mind on those things I do enjoy. I guess there is a perverse pleasure in achieving something when it has a degree of challenge.
I have been talking this week to the pupils, through the assemblies, about setting themselves resolutions. Primarily this has been nothing more than a challenge for them to ensure that they maintain the highest standards of behaviour and academic study; referencing that under the term Oakstanding. It is something that they can all achieve and attain, whether they do so or not is solely up to them. We create the conditions, we allow for them to be successful and it is up to them to lift their game and meet those challenges.
In talking about resolutions are used three pertinent words: 1. Pledge, 2.Plan, 3.Persist. Those three words are useful when considering how we can face those challenges of life. This is certainly the case when pupils are preparing themselves for their schoolwork; be that exams, a performance or a sporting event. It is useful to get children to think about how they might achieve their goals and ambitions rather than just launch themselves into something, blindly hoping for the best.
What makes Oakwood particularly unique is that we have staff, whether we know it or recognise it, who use those three words to frame their work. We do make a commitment to the pupils, we pledge to give them our very best. We think hard about how we going to do that and what works the pupils need to do to ensure that they are successful, we plan. And most importantly we don’t give up on pupils whatever their position, their temperament, their disposition or their background, we give out our very best to them and do not shy away from taking responsibility for their success, we persist.
Whatever we resolve to do (be that personal or professional) I wish you the very best of luck in achieving your goals and I thank you for working with our children in such a way which allows them to achieve their goals.
‘There is simply no substitute for hard work when it comes to achieving success’. Heather Bresch