Headmaster’s Message – Autumn Term Week Three

Dear Parents

I have not been at school quite as much as I would have liked over the last two weeks. Regulatory training and the annual IAPS Headmaster conference have been valuable time spent reflecting on the direction education and the independent sector are heading, during what are very turbulent times.

It is my belief that Cumnor House School is becoming a true 21st century school, one that puts children’s development and progress at the centre of everything we do. To support this mission we now have excellent aims and values, that will guide us strongly through this political storm and beyond. A school with identity has strength and our strong identity will ensure positive outcomes for our pupils.  Global Be Well Day 2019 is an excellent example of why preparatory education truly does prepare children for their futures.

1 in 8 five to nineteen year olds will present with mental ill health during those years, according to a recent 2019 report from the NHS. Even for IAPS schools, a recent survey identified 1 in 10 children that would suffer a similar affliction. Depression, eating disorders, anxiety and self harm are metal illnesses that feature highly in these lists.

It is therefore more important than ever that we work together to support children with positive mental health strategies and model good behaviours.

Resilience is often termed the magic bullet, but as the clinical physician Dr Nihara Krause notes, it is far more than one word.

Resilience relies on key ingredients in a child’s life to develop it.

She notes 8 of these:

1. What if? Questioning and Curiosity, developed through play
2. With others – social interaction and awareness
3. Will wait – self regulation
4. I am – self awareness and knowing one’s self
5. I can – self belief and learning from failure
6. As yet – ability to work towards a challenge
7. Go through – emotional literacy and strength to be able to cope with difficulty
8. Promotion of excellence, not perfection.
As a school and through the ‘New Cumnor Way’ we hope to encourage and embed these strategies for positive mental wellbeing.
But please remember, we cannot help our children unless we are supporting our own mental health first. Modelling these strategies for ourselves, will help us to be better equipped to support our children both at school and at home.
Have a great weekend
Mr Cummings
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020 8660 3445