Head of Junior School Update – 12 March 2020

Head of Junior School Update – 12 March 2020

It is lovely seeing parents reunited with their children after their day at school or kinder. It takes me back to when my children were younger, especially seeing children warmly embrace and hug their parents as they walk home or get to the car park. Most parents tend to agree that one of the most ineffective questions you can ask a child at the end of the school day is, “How was your day?” or “What did you do today?” Often, the answer is “nothing.”

Many children are tired at the end of their school day as they generally spend more awake hours at school than they do at home. They have a full, stimulating and busy day at school. So, when you ask that type of question, they really don’t know where to start. I have written below some suggestions of the types of questions you could possibly ask. Please do not ask them all at once, otherwise your child might ask you for ear plugs for their next birthday! Ask one or two of them and see if this stimulates some type of discussion. If the answer your child gives is negative, rather than you react to it, regard it as a teachable moment. Model to your child a productive way to problem solve and sort out what they can do the next day to make things right or more positive.  You can pick and choose from these questions and decide which question is appropriate for your child’s age and stage of development. I am always keen to hear how your discussions go at home!

Questions you can ask your child after school instead of “How was your day?”

  • What was the hardest rule to follow today?
  • What did you do that you are proud of?
  • What kind of person were you today?
  • What did you do that was kind?
  • What made you smile?
  • Who did you sit with at lunch?
  • Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday?
  • Did you like your lunch?
  • What was the hardest rule to follow today?
  • What made you happy today?
  • What made you sad today?
  • What made your teacher smile?
  • Tell me about your Music/PE/Chinese/French/Art /Library/Music/Choir lesson today?

I would hope that families hold the evening meal as a sacred time to get together and share news about each other’s day. Perhaps this is a good time to ask the questions about school. Another good idea to implement, an idea that is backed by research from a wellbeing perspective, is to share three things for which you are grateful. If you do not want to share them aloud, you could write them down in a journal. I encourage you to read this article by Professor Lea Waters about gratitude.

https://www.leawaters.com/blog/why-gratitude-is-the-best-gift-we-can-give-our-children

Professor Lea Waters believes that if one practices the ritual of writing down 3 things for which you are grateful every day for 21 days, the brain can re-wire and possibly transform our thinking from a negative to a more positive outlook. It is certainly an interesting area of study. Our school is a partner in The Resilience Project, which is implemented by your child’s class teacher to develop positive mental health strategies, thus building resilience and happiness. These life skills are so important to purposely develop and nurture in our children, especially when anxiety levels and mental health issues are prevalent in some primary and kindergarten-aged children. We will inform you next term about an evening event where a speaker from The Resilience Project will address parents. Staff are also going to receive a refresher course and the students will all benefit from a presentation from one of the Resilience Project leaders.

A whole school event that I recommend you attend is The Unicorn Series Number 1 for 2020 called: ‘What keeps kids awake at night? Recognising and dealing with anxiousness in children.’ Please book your attendance using the link below.

https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=614931&

 

Building Works update for the Junior School

Year 4 classrooms: Maintenance work continues for the two Year 4 classrooms and it should be finished in the coming days. WE aim to move the students back into their classrooms sometime next week. Prep: External building works should be completed this week, then painting commences in Week 8.  Outside the Learning Development classroom and Prep SC classroom: The retaining wall works will start this week with completion later this week, all weather permitting. We thank all community members for their patience during our Building Works.

Ms Louise Sayar
Head of Junior School

© St Margaret's School 2020

Site by Space Studio & Tom MB

Translate »