“Few things illustrate self-control…”

“Few things illustrate self-control as vividly as New Year’s resolutions.”

Sendhil Mullainathan

There are probably two types of people, those who make New Year resolutions and those who don’t. I have certainly met both sorts, but I’m not certain that I have ever met one who has actually kept a resolution from January to December. This month we tend to read a lot about famous people and their resolutions for the year. I’m sure that Instagram opinion formers are all busily telling us what 2020 holds for us or what it is we should be doing or buying. Mark Zukerberg famously published his resolutions on Facebook – I think his last one was about killing the meat he was going to eat but I understand that he is doing resolutions by the decade.

I don’t know how many of our students have made resolutions of their own. I am sure that a good number have, and I wish them well with their resolve. As this is the start of the New Year and the time for resolutions, I thought I might suggest a few and who knows one may just stick.

for pupils:

• Keep trying things. There is a wide range of opportunities at the BSP and a New Year is a great time to do something new or different.

• Spend time reading words on paper not just on a screen. A newspaper, a magazine or book, it doesn’t really matter what, but regular reading is a great habit to adopt. What about twelve books in twelve months?

• Speak up when you don’t understand something. We all learn most effectively when we take time to understand

• Only take what you are going to eat from the refectory. There is never a good reason for taking bread and throwing it away untouched

• Use social media for positive purposes only

• Be kind to yourself and to others.

for parents:

• Think about doing something new or revisiting old hobbies. You children will appreciate seeing you immerse yourself in something that you love doing

• Unplug a little. If you spend a lot of time glued to your device your children will also be tempted, if you read a book so might your young person

• If you have a question about your child’s school experience make contact so we can help or answer the question. Social media doesn’t have all the answers

• I’m sure that you always eat your greens and clean your plate. Well done

• Be kind to yourself and to others.

for teachers:

• Endeavour to try new approaches in your classes, don’t just keep doing the same things over and over

• Make sure that you are reading as much and as regularly as your pupils

• Make feedback an even more regular habit than it is already. Send positive news home

• Keep taking the healthy option in the refectory

• Be kind to yourself and to others.

for the Headmaster:

• Get out of your study more often, go and see what is going on in classes and co-curricular activity taking place. There is always something exciting going on at the BSP

• Read more, if you don’t read why would anyone else? (quite looking forward to this)

• Do you really need chips on a Thursday, think about it you greedy person…?

• Be kind to yourself and to others.

If you do try a resolution, good luck with it. I hope you have more luck with it than I am likely to with that whole chips business which looks like a step too far.

Happy New Year!

Nicholas Hammond