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CCHS Summer Term Begins!

I always find the Summer Term has a special electric energy as exams become reality and college placements are sought. I’m never quite sure who experiences this most acutely, the teachers or the students. 

Many of our young people have missed school due to medical issues, and this can often lead to anxiety as they contemplate adapting to the challenges of a new environment.

This raises an interesting question about how we as teachers and teaching assistants help to build the resilience they need to adapt to this change?  How do we develop their strength to deal with adversity? I think of it like trees. Those grown in an enclosed protected environment, topple over once they are exposed to real weather. Only those that, early on, battle against the wind, develop the core wood that gives them strength. 

But as every good parent knows, the real question is finding the right balance between protection and exposure to the strong winds that blow around our children. Using this analogy, we might ask, ‘How do we build the core wood in our students?’

There are many things we do to achieve this, but they all come from what I think of as the ‘collective experience of the CCHS culture'. It is a culture that always begins not with the preservation of the institution; the rules and regulations that hold it together or our financial veracity – as important as that is – but the child.

Everything we do starts, not with the question ‘What is in it for me?’ but ‘What is best for the child?’ It is a tough ‘ask’ but one that CCHS has never wavered from.

It has been that perspective that has produced over the years consistently good results for many students. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I heard that one of our former students with Cystic Fibrosis and who subsequently has become an excellent drama teacher at CCHS, made a short film (Requiem) that has now been nominated for an Oscar. Well done, Jack! 

I don’t think Jack would mind me saying, though, that like all our students before him, his success stemmed, not from just good teaching but the personal qualities of his teachers and teaching assistants. I reminded of that particularly today, as Martin – who not only teaches but masterminds our websites - ran the London Marathon - raising money for our school charity FCCHS.

Thank you to all of those that set such wonderful examples of dedicated professionalism. You are the role models around which our students build the core wood to support them in the future.

Janette Steel