Mr Wilding's words Lent week 4
Senior schools have many priorities at this time of year; ensuring all the UCAS applications for University entry are in by the due deadline date, waiting with bated breath the advanced information for the A level and GCSE courses so we can ‘trim’ accordingly for the final run in to the much heralded (and hoped for) Public Examinations in May and June. This in addition of course to setting out the landscape for current year 9s so they are able to make informed choices for their GCSE options in Years 10 and 11.
One of the biggest challenges we face is to raise the working memory of our students so that they can know enough to write about the materials on which they are to be examined. And strangely enough, the strength of a child’s working memory is very much dependent upon the many and various loads placed upon the brain. In short, the research into cognitive memory is very similar in outcomes to those for muscle memory and muscle strength - the more we practice the better grooved the memory, the heavier the load, the stronger it becomes. As we enter several weeks of Common Tasks for our students, and look forward to our Year 13, 12 and 11 Mocks after half-term, it’s worth bearing in mind the Learning Scientists advice of “Use it or lose it!”
We’ve had some fabulous dry weeks of weather, and this last week unseasonably warm, as a consequence positive activity and humour abound in school. We’ve had to address quite seriously some issues of over-boisterous behaviour during breaks, though more generally there have been plenty of examples of kind and positive conduct throughout the place, with our visitors last Friday and prospective new staff employees this Wednesday simply blown away by the quality of the boys that showed them round or formed the interview panels!
And finally, I launched our boys’ thinking into what they might like to work towards for charity week at Assembly on Monday, and I have challenged them to think differently: if you don’t know the story of the blind beggar and the beautiful day, see it here.