Mindfulness, Carparks and Kindness: Message from the Head of Secondary

Welcome to the new academic year. I know it’s going to be yet another great year in Secondary.

The Secondary Leadership Team spent last week in the car park welcoming students and parents back to school, and also helping to keep the traffic flowing whilst the building work around the school continues to affect our parking situation. It was good to speak to many parents during what might be a stressful start and end to the day- does anybody really enjoy sitting in traffic queues where time seems to pass slower than it was ever intended to do? The occasional frustrated ‘beep’ of a car horn took me firmly back to the summer vacation...

My summer was spent luxuriating in being able to catch up on some reading which we rarely have time to do during term time as teachers. A book on Mindfulness caught my attention in the bookshop and its exploration of living in the present and for the current moment really resonated and caused me to reflect more deeply on how to deal with issues in an even more measured way. I’ve been prone, in the past, to the occasional frustrated ‘beep’ of the car horn but this raised a few reflective questions: what does the beeping achieve, will it have any positive desired effect, will it matter in a minute’s time, does it uphold our school values of respect, honesty or kindness? The answer to these questions, for me at least, is probably ‘no’ or ‘nothing’.

Roald Dahl, the writer of many popular books, gave his thoughts on one of our 3 values:

*“I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage, or bravery, or generosity, or anything else… Kindness—that simple word. To be kind—it covers everything, to my mind. If you’re kind that’s it.” *

So, in the year to come, let’s embrace our School’s values even more fully and be mindful of the effects our actions have on others… even in the carpark!

Brian Irving, Head of Secondary