After seven years at Wandsworth Prep, it is finally time for me to move on. What a hard decision to leave such a joyful community.
The children, as always, are the reason I came into education, and WPS children make my day, everyday. I cannot count the number of times I have shown visitors around our school and their comments always begin with praising the pupils. Without fail, they praise their obvious happiness, enthusiasm for learning, their open and positive relationships with teachers and the fact that they are brimming with confidence, not arrogance. As a parent, we all know that the best compliment to receive is not about ourselves, but about our children. As a Headteacher, you have that very same feeling of pride when our pupils are complimented. It is testament to our ethos, our incredible teachers and to our wonderful parent community.
It is a ‘giving’ community, not only in terms of charity, of which the community has been extremely generous this year, but also giving in terms of positivity and a willingness to help others. Following the pandemic, being able to invite our families into school to a variety of events such as inspirational Learning Showcases, theatre productions, summer balls, instrumental concerts, Sports Day and Speech Day, has cemented our community together and our commitment to provide all of our children with a sense of belonging.
Sometimes when choosing a preparatory school, parents ask me how it is possible for children to make the transition from a small school like ours to a huge secondary school. My answer is always the same; throughout our life, environments are constantly changing and moving and it is our job as educationalists to not only inspire children academically, but also to build inside them a solid, happy sense of self and confidence. We want our children to be able to adapt to any environment - large or small.
This is what I said to the Year 6 children leaving us at Speech Day:
‘You have everything you need right inside you. We all have it. We just don’t always choose to use it. Be kind to yourself first and once you have done that, you can change lives. You can walk into a room and send your positive energy into it. You could say a kind word. You could listen with intent. You could lose a match but see inspiration in the opposition’s win. The brilliant thing about life is that you get to choose how to see it and react to it. Surround yourself with friends who are kind people, who care for you, who make you laugh and who rejoice in your successes and urge you on when things don’t go to plan. If you can live your life using that part inside of you that is the very best version of your unique self, you can go anywhere and do anything.’
I wish all of our Year 6 children and the WPS Community wonderful adventures ahead - thank you for having me!