The very nature of the Grange Junior School means that our young people are continually being challenged to develop in a whole number of different ways, both inside and outside of the classroom. Inevitably, this means the children often find themselves outside of their comfort zones and having to work hard to succeed. Of course, sometimes children feel that the level of challenge is too much to overcome and start to believe that they can’t make progress. This can happen in any situation whether it is learning to play a tricky piece of music, delivering an assembly to an audience of their peers, solving a tough maths question or making a 3-dimensional model.
So, since the start of the month, we have been exploring the nature of determination, that personal quality necessary to push us through the barriers that we place in our mind. In my assemblies, I have shared the famous story of ‘The Little Engine That Could’ as well as my own tale of struggling to climb to the top of a particularly high telegraph pole at Bewerley Park Outdoor Education Centre. At the heart of both stories is the message that if we adopt a positive mind set and repeat the simple mantra of “I can and I will”, then success may come quicker than we imagined.
I have been struck with how many children have come to tell me their own stories of achieving success in spite of some initial difficulties by applying this mantra. Whether it has been learning to ride a bicycle without stabilisers, completing a tough cross-country run or eating a larger portion of fruit, our children will readily take on board the messages of positive thinking and apply these to ensure that they succeed where previously they thought it was not possible.