We have three Values that help guide us at school. They are KINDNESS, HONESTY and RESPECT. We ask all our students to aspire to these Values, just as we do as a team of staff. We hope also that other members of our community, including parents, recognise these Values and help to model them each day to all our students.

I want to talk briefly about Kindness. This is a simple word which resonates with children of all ages; they know how it feels when someone is kind to them and they like to be kind to others when they can. The dictionary definition of Kindness says “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate*”*, which I think is a very nice way to put it. Kindness is a quality, it is a distinctive characteristic that is something to be proud of and to treasure.

It is a natural human attribute to want to be kind to others. When we are kind we can make another person smile, we can lift their spirits and maybe our generosity gives them a boost of confidence. From simple things like holding a door open to raising large sums for charity, each act can make a difference to another person. And when the kindness is followed by a “thank you”, being appreciated helps this circle of kindness continue.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been particularly struck by the ethos of kindness and the culture of happiness and positive contribution within our school. Furthermore, I am absolutely certain this ethos is an important factor that contributes to the tremendous successes that so many students achieve: when teachers and parents are continually kind and supportive, the students know that other people believe in them and will be there for them. This in turn has a positive influence on their academic achievements and their personal development. With so many of our senior students gaining really impressive grades at IB and IGCSE, I feel sure that, in addition to the quality of teaching, part of their success comes down to the kind, caring environment that has nurtured them over the years.

This culture of kindness is developed by everyone doing their little bit to help build a positive and inspiring school. Whether we are aged 3 or 93, with each of us being that little bit kinder each day we can make a big difference to our community and to the happiness and the success of every individual within it.