Relentless Optimism

One of the great things about working in a school is that we’re constantly surrounded by the happy chatter and the good humour of children. It’s been a bit of a gloomy week on the news-front and it’s suddenly turned a bit colder and wetter – but the fun of the classroom continues unabated, as does the excitement of pupils playing sport and music together again.

I had a good discussion with my Year 12 Ivy House group about the difference between happiness and fulfilment. The question related to what they wanted out of life, and “to be happy” was a popular response. It’s also probably what we want most for our children as their parents. We know, however, that happiness is not guaranteed and that none of us can claim to be happy every day of our lives. Life comes with its ups and downs, and we do our best as teachers and parents to prepare our children for inevitable challenges, whilst also supporting them when things don’t go to plan. Above all, we want them to feel fulfilled: content with their lot in life, believing in themselves and knowing that their contribution is both valuable and valued. True fulfillment runs much deeper than happiness.

I am generally a pretty positive person and I have heard it said that ‘relentless optimism’ has been a much-needed quality for headteachers over the last few months! I think we probably all need a dose of that at the moment as we wonder where our world is heading. So, as we look to our children and to the rays of sunshine they bring us even on colder and wetter days, we continue positively and resolutely on, in the hope and confidence that better days lie ahead.

Best wishes,

John Watson
Headmaster and Principal