One of the great joys and sadnesses of parenthood is watching our children grow up. Joyful because we see our children grow from happy children to confident young adults. Sad because it all seems to pass by so quickly and they will never be six or seven again. As parents we are guides and leaders of the changes in our children’s lives. It is a huge responsibility and without doubt the most fulfilling thing we do. There are, of course, the bumps and unexpected twists and turns along life’s road and we walk with our children through those difficult times.
Schools, too, are dynamic. Heraclitus, the ancient Greek philosopher said, “You cannot step into the same river twice, for the waters are continually flowing on.” That was as true in Athens in 500BC as it is today: the pace and rate of change is certainly quicker. The river never stands still. Our human nature does not enjoy change; probably the only person who looks forward to change is a baby with a dirty nappy (diaper for the Americans). We are its custodians, the stewards of our school and want to take it from strength to strength. All of us involved in the leadership and teaching teams in our school share a vision to take it forward and to leave it in a better place than when we arrived. This is a great responsibility and, if we get it right, joy.
In order to do this we need to have a clear idea of where we are going. Our guiding principles are our North Star. During the last year we revised our vision statement thus: Greenfield Community School is committed to building an inclusive world class IB Continuum School, recognised for rigour and excellent quality of teaching and learning. We embrace our international and cultural diversity and strong sense of community. Following our series of school inspections and visits last month we will be reviewing our strengths and areas for development. We have come a long way during recent years and any parent of member of staff who has been with us for some time will testify to the improvements that have taken place. But, we cannot rest on our laurels.
Change demands resilience from us. Resilience means facing life’s difficulties with courage and patience – refusing to give up. As night follows day there will be tough times in our personal and professional lives. We cannot stand on the mountain tops without going through the valleys. As a rock climber and mountaineer there have been many occasions in which I have found myself in seemingly impossible situations and I have felt quite hopeless. Long, cold nights out caught on a mountainside by bad weather with no warm clothing. What has taken me through them was dogged termination and huddling together with my climbing partner, digging deep and slogging on. Often when we felt that success was impossible and that giving up was a very attractive option. Just climbing upward when every fibre of your being wants to stop. What does not help in these situations is complaining about the weather and blaming one another for climbing too slowly.
Victor Frankl, writing in a time of unimaginable personal tragedy said: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
We have a clear vision for the future of the school and are committed to raising its academic standards whilst keeping its ethos and warm sense of community.