“Fortuna est quae fit cum praeparatio in occasionem incidit.” (1)Seneca
If all the world’s a stage, then there are many mini acts of a theatre in every school day. Performance is an integral part of school life and this week I have had the opportunity to see plenty of excellent performances.
This week we gained a little more information on what our public exam taking pupils will be required to do in the summer, for them performance in the exam hall will be at the forefront of their minds as we break for a well-earned half term holiday. They deserve to rest and revise in equal measure.
I had the privilege of seeing our Year 9s engage is some exuberant performances on the theme of James Bond movies working with Beauville Arts this week. How splendid to see adolescents having the confidence to be able to stand up with their contemporaries and perform: singing, dancing, and acting. A sure sign that they are growing in confidence and become assured of their talents.
I saw a group of Lower VI formers starting to express their opinions through the medium of thunks. The started tentatively and quietly but by the end of the session the debate was raging, opinions were being formed and refuted in equal measure. Perhaps you too would like to give it a go? Here’s a classic thunk: If I paint over a window and can’t see through it, is it still a window? Fancy some more? If a lion could speak, would I understand it? Just two of the questions that they debated. Learning how to find a voice is an essential skill, having the opportunity to develop opinions is equally as important – there is no better way to develop than to put yourself out there and have a go. I’m pleased to say our Lower VI did just that!
Today, I popped into Year 3 who were being treated to an introductory session in the Latin language by Mr. Frank. How good to see the confidence with which verb endings were being performed. From knowing nothing about Latin the pupils were able to translate the school motto and decline the verb to play.
Our basketballers and rugby players have been performing on the court and sports field. They have experienced both success and defeat. In doing so they had to risk something by going out and performing. No matter what the score, they have grown and will take these experiences into their next matches and into other spheres of their development.
Immediately prior to writing today I had the chance to hear the Senior Jazz band performing Uptown Throwdown and saw our junior rugby players carrying on undaunted as strong winds blew carefully weighted passes awry. Whilst our performances do not always turn out the way we might like they most certainly teach us a good deal about ourselves and of what we are capable.
If we are to build resilience in our young people, we need to encourage them to perform. Not simply to do so in a quiet exam room, but to find a voice, develop their opinions, to share their learning and enjoy their knowledge. The last two years have curtailed this opportunity and it is certainly encouraging to see, as we draw to the end of this half term, that we have made the most of every chance to perform.
All this said performing can be a little bit exhausting, so our half term comes at an opportune moment. I hope that the entire community has a moment to daw breath and will return ready to take the stage once more when we start again.
(1) As Year 3 will tell you this means something like “Luck is where opportunity meets preparation”.