Thought for the Week 17th January 2022 This week we have chosen to slightly adjust our the
feeling valued.jpg

Thought for the Week  10th January 2022
 

This week in school our theme is I am Valued. Feeling valued covers a huge amount of scenarios and emotions. How we feel valued differs, perhaps, due to our upbringing, our character and our outlook on life. We all know people at opposite ends of this very broad spectrum- some people need constant praise just for doing ordinary things that they are expected to do to make them feel secure and valued. Other people just naturally do things to help and support without desiring any praise. Most of us are somewhere in the middle!

Being valued and knowing you are valued are also two different things. It could be that the people in your life are not the most effusive of people and they just get on with things. You may not know how appreciated and valued you are because they just expect that you will pick it up with your spidey senses. It may be that some of your nearest and dearest spend so much time telling you how valued you are that it gets a bit monotonous and loses its impact. Again, being somewhere in the middle of this continuum is about right; knowing you are valued, but knowing that it only comes from something worthy of being valued.

There is nothing better than that feeling when you realise something you have done or an aspect of your personality is truly valued. Life can be a bit of a drudge and having some really positive feedback (how I hate that word, especially when I have bought something and I am supposed to  fill in some mind numbing questionnaire about the efficiency of the experience!) can be so inspiring and uplifting. The thought that you have done something which has helped someone or that you are considered to be a kind, caring, positive and or generous person is humbling in the extreme.

We know in education that our students come from a variety of homes and with differing life experiences. I have always gone out of my way to make sure that I interact with everyone around the school in a positive way (unless of course I have my sanction face on!). Making everyone feel valued is as simple as saying hello, asking how they are, remembering to ask if they are better if you know they have been absent, or contacting home if they do something amazing, so parents and carers can share in the reflected glory. We spend a lot of time trying to praise our students because we know that feeling valued and cared for is the best foundation for life in general. It sets them up to be positive contributors to society and to pay this back in their lives in the way they treat others and bring up their families. Everyone needs to feel valued and to value others. That is the way that the world functions best. Children need to learn this from adults and adults need to remember this as they get further away from childhood.

I hope that, as we discuss this this week, we will make our community members realise that they are valued and appreciated.  There is nothing more effective at building a sense of worth than that, and we, as a society, need that firm foundation to go forward in these most uncertain of times.

Mrs Faulkner

friendship.jpeg

Thought for the Week  3rd January 2022 

 

Well a New Year always feels like a patch of undisturbed snow or a new page of an exercise book- fresh and unblemished, full of possibilities and exciting future opportunities. This year we may be forgiven for letting that slide a bit! The news and the predictions can be best summarised with the phrase same old same old but, even in the midst of what seems the next month of Covid gloom, there is hope. We can hopefully look forward to a much brighter future, if only we can get over the next few weeks, but many of us have forgotten how to be positive and how to be glass half full. Many of us have had the figurative stuffing knocked out of us from one more setback, one more thing we can’t do. 

I marvelled over the holidays that almost every place I went – shops, the surgery, the chemist’s, the cinema, all displayed signs stating that they will not tolerate verbal or physical abuse of their staff. Everyone has become so short tempered and angry with each other that there has been a tremendous mushrooming of workplace aggression which we should and must not tolerate as a civilised society.  Aggressive people seem to forget that the people who work in shops and as receptionists are also people with families, poorly children, aging relatives, general anxiety about the current situation – in short just the same as them. 

In the Downton area we have had a large amount of break-ins over the Christmas period , including the newly refurbished Co-op. It would be easy to throw up our hands in horror and talk about how great things used to be. This is not the issue however. Society is at a pivotal moment. We are emerging from a pandemic and we need to work together to make sure that the society we move into is one of kindness, tolerance and positivity. 

 I am determined this year, rather than making the traditional resolutions of fitness and diet, which never last past 3rd January most years, to resolve to make this world a better, kinder place and to call out those people who add nothing to it, other than nasty, self-centred behaviour. Our time on this earth is too precious for us to have to put up with mindless vandalism, selfish behaviour and a very few people spoiling things for everyone else across society. Random acts of kindness are the way to go. If we start small, then we will very quickly see that this engenders more kindness and those negative and self-centred people are left in the minority, looking foolish.  

Our theme in school this week is I am a Good Friend – there is no better way to start the New Year in school than all of us reflecting on what a good friend is and how to be a better one. I look forward to working with you all this year to  make our little corner of the world more kind and positive. 

 

Happy New Year! 

Mrs Faulkner

christmas scene.png

Thought for the Week 13th December 2021

Well, here we are in the last week of term and things feel uncertain again.

This was supposed to be the normal Christmas where everything went back to how it used to be, and yet here we are with media messaging seeming to suggest that things are about to change. Again.

In the middle of all this, our theme in school this week is I am Inspired. At the end of term many of us are not feeling particularly inspired, both students and staff are just trekking quietly to the end of term and hoping that there will not be too many dramas or expectations on us this week.

However, even in times like this at school, there is inspiration everywhere. I am always really grateful to work in a school , even when the day to day minutiae seems to be overwhelming, when a parent is unhappy or a student is struggling with their behaviour. There is no greater privilege than being able to interact with young people, to support them to care for them and to see them fly academically and socially.

Inspiration can be a small moment, a small action or a grand gesture and a pivotal moment. When I started at this school many years ago, there was a legendary Deputy Headteacher, Mr Gibbons, who many parents and friends of the school will remember to this day. He was a hugely inspirational figure in my life- someone so calm, confident and fair that everyone respected him and everyone took what he said as justified and positive. Although he sadly passed away in 2018, his legacy still lives on in school with the Nigel Gibbons prize for the student who most embodies the Trafalgar School values.

He showed me that being fair and just and always caring was so important and he set me on my path of pastoral care.

A truly inspirational man.

On a day to day basis there are many just as important moments of inspiration around the building- the student who enters a lesson unable to do a task and then leaves beaming because they have finally got it, the person who lacks confidence who pushes themselves to ask a question, the members of staff who model to the students how to behave as an adult, how to be kind and how to be fair, the child with additional needs who manages to work through their anger in a way better than they ever have before, the calm kindness of Boo having an impact on a troubled child….. I could go on and on.

All of these things have a positive impact on someone’s life. Sometimes the power for change comes from within the person themselves and sometimes it is created by an external person or force. Inspiration can also be created by an appreciation of art, music , literature, foreign travel and many other extrinsic things. What we all need to hold on to, even in these strangest of times, is that we have the power to inspire ourselves and others, we must never forget to be inspired and to inspire. A world without inspiration is a poor imitation of a world we aspire to live in.

Have a lovey inspirational Christmas – take care and stay warm!

Mrs Faulkner

Determination.png

Thought for the Week 6th December 2021

 

This week in school our theme is I am Determined.  I was pretty sure that I knew all about determination and understood why it was important when I was younger. It seemed quite obvious that the more effort you put in, the better your results and ultimately your life choices. It seemed quite an easy thing to do.

It became apparent  to me that I knew nothing about it at all, as I navigated my way through the first few years of being a mother. Not because I was unaware of the sheer amount of baby sick or sleepless nights that one has to endure, but because both of my boys had to be so determined from the get go. They are both autistic and, to some extent, could be considered to have things stacked against them. We  made a pact as a family when they were both little that this was an opportunity and not a problem, that we would, with trial and error along the way, get through this and that ultimately they would emerge stronger, determined and self-aware, able to both empathise and understand other people and themselves.

It has certainly not been easy and we still have our moments. The important thing is that they themselves have determination and an unswerving belief that we will help them get to wherever they want to go. Ultimately, as we often tell them, it is they who are the people in charge of their success and only their determination will get them there. That is a pretty scary message to hear when you are a small child and also as a parent who suspects something is not quite right but does not want to verbalise it.

We have had years of preparing people for visits, holidays, days out, obsessions such as Minecraft, Pokemon, balloon modelling, streetdance, ukulele and the latest ones – basketball for the eldest and barn owls and Pokemon for the youngest. However what they have taught us is priceless and I would not want it any other way. Everything they do they do to the best of their ability, even if they find it hard. They are not content until they have researched and practiced their latest interest to its logical conclusion. They have an encyclopaedic knowledge of many things, but best of all they have determination to make the best of what they have got and they love life.

Every day at Trafalgar we see other individual and collective stories of determination which are humbling and inspiring. This is one of the best things about working in a school. So many people have so many obstacles and yet strive to overcome them and become better people. As we move towards our second Christmas with Covid, determination is definitely called for from everyone. Only be keeping our focus and determination will we eventually emerge stronger and better, ready for anything that life can throw at us.

Mrs Faulkner

malala quote.png

Thought for the Week 29th  November 2021

 

This week in school our theme is I am Moral. This sounds quite old fashioned at face value but really we are looking at everyone’s individual code of morals, their blueprint so that they can live their life successfully having a positive effect on both other people and society. Morality is very subjective and can really give a large clue to someone’s upbringing and personality. It is the glue which keeps society together, it is both a joy and sometimes a chore. However what we must never lose sight of is that ,without it, we would live in an anarchical society and our lives would be very much the poorer.

We all know people or groups of people who seem to have a very distant relationship with morality, who waste  a lot of time and resources while other people sort out their mistakes, because they do not appear to care. I am talking about society wider than school here. The vast majority of our school community have a strong set of morals which are underpinned by our school values and reflect the determination and will of our students to make a difference and to be positive contributors during their life. Those other people will probably always rage at life because they feel cheated or disappointed in what they have or what they experience. They have failed to understand that they are masters of their own destiny, that they can make their own luck and that this all stems from their morality. This is the most important aspect of a human’s existence and sets the tone for your life.

 I have mentioned in other thoughts of the week that my childhood contained moments of poverty, but my parents never let our moral standards slip, never allowed us to be anything other than grateful and I think this has left me with a really useful ability to appreciate everything, however small. As long as a person has acquitted themselves in a positive manner and stuck fast to their moral code, then everything should pass and everything should get better. Once we lose this belief and stop trying to be the best version of ourselves we lose something hard to quantify but so valuable.

The current vogue for reality TV programmes and celebrities with no talents other than self- promotion is a stealthy attack on our morality. Standards shown to our teenagers in these programmes are never going to support them developing a moral code. They are subliminally taught that vacuous self-centred behaviour is acceptable and that, as long as your nails are done, your hair is perfect and you can talk about shoes and clothes without pausing for breath, that is the way to a successful life. How depressing! I am hopeful that soon the throwaway society which prizes this sort of morality will pass, as everything does, and we will learn to appreciate values and morals as 21st century enhancers and things to be prized. Until that happens, we continue as individuals and communities, developing and using our own moral codes because, in the words of Malala Yousafzai, when the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.

Mrs Faulkner

EAT WELL.jpg
blank canvas.png
dance.jpg

Thought for the Week 22nd November 2021

 

This week in school we will be reminding ourselves about looking after our wellbeing and that of others.  This seems a good time to do this, as we are halfway through Term 2, the news is looking quite bleak and the days are becoming darker. At least Christmas is not too far away and looks like it could be better than last year – here’s definitely hoping!

The lockdowns provided us all with a chance to reflect on our own wellbeing and how we could change our lives in some way to make them better. Hence we have seen a lot of people who have changed jobs, started working from home more, taken up new hobbies or just simply reorganized things to spend more time with their families. This is fine if you can do any of these things, but there are many people who have been forced to re-evaluate due to less than positive things happening to them- jobs lost, family members lost, income halved or other pressures being put on their family.

With this backdrop and rising cases in Europe, how can we possibly prioritise our wellbeing? And yet we must. We focused last week on small acts of kindness adding up to making the world a better place. This is true of wellbeing- one small act of kindness to ourselves or others becomes more and more addictive until we are taking better care of ourselves and making sure that how we treat people impacts on them positively for days or years afterwards. People always remember a kind word or deed, but they also remember a nasty one even more clearly.

Last week alone in school, I saw a lot of kind deeds and words – people encouraging their friends in lessons to achieve, people socialising positively and supporting others, staff wanting to get the best out of each other and their students both academically and socially. Yes, we, like any community have that tiny number of disenfranchised, negative students in school who, when they leave us, will suddenly realise that school was actually a great support to them but, while they are here, they continue to kick off at the rules and social norms which any community has to have. However most of us at Trafalgar have an unswerving desire to make our community better, to make our students and staff the best versions of themselves they can be and to come in every single day ready to learn and be positive.

So as regards our wellbeing we can all do several things straight away.

Be kind to yourself – focus on the positive things you have done recently.

Plan ahead in small steps for something you want to have achieved in one week, one month, one year and five years and do it.

Think about how you treat people and how you want to be treated- make sure it is kind.

Most importantly- have good friends, dance, sing, eat well, exercise and love life.

Each of you deserves the very best life chances and opportunities and you can create them for yourself.

No-one else will do it for you.

Life is a blank canvas- make sure you paint a masterpiece!

Mrs Faulkner.

 

 

 

Thought for the Week 15th November 2021

 

This week in school we are thinking about kindness and being kind to each other as part of our focus on Anti-Bullying Week. The national focus during this week is One Kind Word. I feel this is very timely. We certainly noticed an upsurge of negative behaviour between students after lockdown as they desperately tried to exist socially in school after months in their homes completing remote learning. This has somewhat settled now – time really is a great healer. We have all become used to each other again and we have all worked out our individual contribution to the school community. I must compliment Year 7 and Year 8 who both had very interrupted transitions due to Covid but who have come in and become great contributors to Trafalgar already.

Talking to friends in other professions, particularly healthcare, it becomes obvious that society as a whole has rather lost its way with kindness over the last couple of years. People are angry, feel powerless, have less money in their pockets, may have lost their jobs and all with the backdrop of a worldwide pandemic with all the normal things which cheer us up such as holidays and socialising off the table. If you thought about it in too much depth you would go mad. Is it any wonder that people feel less kind and are more inclined to complain or to shout about something they are not happy with.? Society has been tested and has gone on an interesting journey. Firstly we all pulled together, clapped for the NHS and bonded together like the Blitz. Then, as it turned out to be a longer period than we first expected, people turned angry and bitter and reflected this out. Now we have a fatalistic feeling of acceptance and a conviction that we are nearer to the end than we have ever been.

Our mission, as a school, has been to allow our students the freedom to express their feelings and to explore the confusion which they have felt – not just about exams but also about their lives in general. With this freedom we have supported and cared for them as best we can, while still having the same thoughts and concerns as all other adults. The school community has been amazingly flexible and adaptable – far more so than we may have expected. The vast majority of them have remained kind despite everything.

This week we will be focusing on developing that kindness and making sure that everyone in our school community appreciates the importance of kindness, the impact of their words and actions on others and the fact that we all have a contribution to make to get our community that little bit kinder. I have asked tutors this week to explore a tutor group anti- bullying pledge with their groups, so that everyone reflects on their group contribution to our ethos and values.

Life is far too short to spend it angry and bitter- one kind word is all it takes to make this world just that bit better.

Mrs Faulkner

Poppies1.jpeg

Thought for the Week 8th November 2021 

This week in school our theme is I am respectful. This links in with the whole school focus on remembrance week, which this year will have a local community feel. I am a great believer in the premise that a community is made stronger by remembering the people and events that have gone before. Here in Downton we have a very strong community of which the school is proud to be a part. This year we will  be looking at different ways to link in with our local community still further. This community is a direct result of the historical sacrifice and contribution of Downton inhabitants over many centuries. The village does not shy away from celebrating this throughout the year and none more so than on Remembrance Sunday where organisations from the village gather to reflect and remember long lost relatives and names we all know from seeing the names on the memorial, as we go to and from the park or the shops.  

I will be telling some of the stories of local soldiers during my Armistice Assembly this year,  as well as showing the Trafalgar School Remembrance Slideshow where staff and students across the school have contributed photos of family members from several conflicts or currently serving personnel, so that we, as a school, can really understand what it means to fight for one’s country and to give the ultimate sacrifice in many cases. It is very easy for our students to learn about war in the third person without actually feeling the gut wrenching fear of conflict or the awful realisation that somebody will never see their home or their family again. Looking at the huge contribution from just the families in our school is really humbling. The pride from the families who have provided photos and stories is immeasurable and well warranted. 

Some people may say that pride and war must not be lauded as they will be this week. We live in a world where it is unfashionable to be proud and bold about such things. However this remembrance week shows all the very best about humans, emanating from something so brutal. It shows sacrifice, loyalty, pride in one’s country and love for one’s friends. It also shows honour and pride in family members and a willingness to remember people and their contribution, Their stories resonate down the years and leave us a priceless legacy. 

As we mark Remembrance Day this week we will be proud to remember the fallen of Downton and to learn their stories. They are what has made us and our community in the 21st century and for that we owe them a huge debt of honour. Let’s hope that we can leave a similar legacy for this community.

 

Mrs Faulkner 

Thought for the Week

1st November 2021

 

In school this week we will be thinking about how we keep ourselves safe. This has a myriad of different nuances depending on the age of the student and the way they manage their social lives out of school. Living in a rural community, as a lot of our students do, many of our villages have poor transport links, little street lighting and our students need to reflect on how they keep themselves safe when they go out. I remember growing up in a small Lincolnshire village where the bus came through on a Tuesday and then usefully did not come back until the Saturday!  I was therefore very reliant on my parents to take me anywhere and learnt to drive as quickly as I could!

Keeping ourselves safe nowadays also has an added angle – the dreaded social media. As I have often reflected in these thoughts social media is the very best and, used poorly, can be the very worst development of the 21st century. It gives people the opportunity to connect but this can be a positive or a negative connection. It makes it so much easier for people to be vilified and hated publicly, it removes the distance which can give that oh so needed detachment and makes people reflect on what they are saying and doing. I can spot a developing keyboard warrior a mile away in  a school context - those people who may have some sort of beef( oh how I hate that word!) with society, they may be jealous of others success or they just enjoy exploiting the weaknesses of others which reflects away from them. Dealing with bullying and nastiness in the cyber world is something which we as a school take seriously, as we do with other community based issues. We are only as safe as a school if everyone plays their part. Through PSHE lessons we encourage our students to consider huge life issues, looking at them from all angles and emphasising how people from very different cultures and countries think and feel. Only by an understanding of this can our students be confident in keeping themselves and other people safe.

The recent issues in the news with sexual harassment and hate crimes across schools nationally show that current students are struggling to understand their place in the world, as it develops at such a speed. Teenagers have so many competing pressures on them. They may have grown up hearing a certain narrative that is at odds with how they are being taught in school. They have to make their social and moral decisions with a backdrop of nervousness about how they should be behaving in all scenarios. In a world where we are trying to eradicate gender issues, there is still a huge gender divide about how people are expected to behave.

With all of this in play our Trafalgar students are growing up and finding their way. The vast majority are a hugely impressive group of people who are thoughtful, considered, morally upright and, above all, kind. They know how to keep themselves safe both physically, online and morally. With the encouragement and support of home and school, they will be fine contributors to society. Doing all of that in the 21st century is no mean feat - I salute them all!

Mrs Faulkner

Thought for the Week ~ 18th October 2021

 

As we near the last few days in school this term there will be collective sigh of relief from teachers and students- this has been a very strange term across all schools. As has happened so many times in the last 18 months this was trumpeted as the term which went back to normal – whatever that now is. However schools across the nation have had to combat staff and student absence on an unprecedented level, due to Covid but also other illnesses.

The theme for the week in school is I Am Proud. Never has this been more relevant than now. Pride can be seen to be something rather arrogant or negative, something which means that a person or organisation is rather full of themselves. However I am proud to me means the following in school. I am proud of the way that the students have coped with the amount of change and stress, which the last two years has created for them, I am proud of how our staff have managed to step up and keep both our learning and ethos going, when we have had many months without direct contact with the students and I am proud of how our parents and carers have supported us during these challenging times, when in their own personal or professional lives, things have changed at an amazing speed as well.

We will be celebrating Trafalgar Day in tutor groups this week which falls on the first day of half term this week – 21st October. Our school pride is also reflected in this - the pride and gratitude of the nation led to the Nelson family being gifted Trafalgar House in Downton, which is where our new name came from almost 20 years ago – a nod to local past and an emphasis on national pride.

As we start the half term I would like to day a huge thank you to everyone who has got us to this moment of pride- students, staff, parents, carers, the local community – both current and past. We are grateful that we have such strong support  and we go forward continuing to strive to make our students the best version of themselves.

Mrs Faulkner

 

Over the course of this month we are looking at Black History in school  and reflecting on how this did not just start with the Windrush generation or the American Civil war and that, if you look back at art work, literature and archaeology from ancient and mediaeval times, Black History is woven through global history seamlessly. It is integral and enriching as much as every other culture.

 This made me reflect on history in general. In its purest sense history is a repository of our experiences  as a world  community and should provide us with a roadmap of what to do and what not to do. People always say that history teaches us about how not to make the same mistakes again and yet, if that were totally true, then by now we would have worked everything out and we would have a world without anger, violence and war.

Similarly, if people learnt from their own history, we would all be sorted both personally and professionally, living some sort of utopian dream. This is obviously not a perfect world as we have been shown in recent months more than ever. The Black Lives Matter movement, the violence against women, the poverty of many families, the recent fuel crisis and a global pandemic show us that we will never solve every problem and we will never attain that nirvana. However we should never stop trying. The day we stop is the day the human race loses a major part of its humanity and civilisation.

As we reflect on Black History Month and we watch the reflections of some of our staff on important people from Black History, the biggest homage we can pay to all of them is to keep the story of the struggle of different races uppermost in our minds while at the same time refusing to allow ourselves to treat their story as a separate entity. We are all the same and yet we are all different -that is what makes the world so intriguing and complex.

Mrs Faulkner 

Thought for the Week

11th October 2021

Thought for the Week 4th  October 2021

 

The Theme of the Week in school this week is I am my own person.
Teenage years are a difficult time for clinging on to this notion. This is a time when you are developing both physically and neurologically at a huge speed, hence why you are always tired and sometimes a bit grumpy. Your body is undergoing massive change – the chrysalis turning into a butterfly. Alongside all of this you have the pressures put upon you by social media, the need to appear sociable, edgy, cool and popular 24 hours per day, presenting a public face of happiness and success. No wonder that anyone who tries to do all of that may struggle with their mental health at times.

 

Life is not easy or perfect- it is messy and tricky at times. It does not fit into neat boxes or categories, it sneaks up on you with surprise and leaves you feeling a bit battered and bruised. Where a lot of people go wrong is thinking this is not normal. They worry that things are so bad that they are having a significant issue. We see it in school all the time – students who have had no experience of setbacks or things not going right, who all of a sudden have to cope with something out of the ordinary. However this is often not out of the ordinary - it just is for them at that stage in their lives. Most Year 7 students have not had a huge amount of life experience happen to them. It is our job as professionals to teach them that it is not the setback that is the problem, it is the way you react to them which sets the way your life will progress and the person you will become.
 

 When I was an older teenager my father’s business failed, he went bankrupt and we lost our house all within the space of a few months, so I do know exactly what I am talking about. However we were all still healthy  and my sister and I knew that we were loved by both our parents as much as ever. That provided the basis for us all to keep going and to stay positive, although that was tough at times, no question. I suppose it also allowed me the chance to develop my positive attitude to life and realise that major things can happen, but the sun still rises in the morning and life does carry on.
 

Every day at school is a privilege to spend with all our young people as they develop into their own person with their own attitude to life and their own successes and challenges. How exciting it is to see all of this promise of a future generation develop and flourish and then leave us to enter the adult world. While you are on that journey, enjoy finding out what your inner belief and your core purpose is, enjoy the time to investigate what makes you tick.
Never again will you have the time you have during your school days and the lack of major responsibility. You have the ingredients to fashion yourself into the person you want to become - be the best possible version of yourself!

Mrs Faulkner

community.png

Thought for the Week 27th September 2021

 

This week our theme in school is I am Community Minded. We will be launching our Co-Curricular Programme and introducing the school to the Head Students. We are a strong community but we are only as strong due to the way that our students, staff and parents interact together, confident that we all have the same goal – to make our students the best possible version of themselves – both academically and socially.

We are lucky that our school community has strong foundations in the local community and the surrounding area. There is a genuine affection for the school from local people – some of whom came here, others who have employed former students and other people who come in to support with mentoring and counselling.

This week the Senior Team will also be touring Year 6 families and giving them a flavour of what makes Trafalgar tick. This is always a tiring but brilliant week for us- a lot of talking but also a lot of appreciation and challenge from people visiting about why Trafalgar should be the place for their children.

Any community must continually evolve and change to make sure that it remains strong. It is easy to relax and hope things just carry on but that never works effectively. IN a school we are constantly evolving due to students arriving in Year 7 and leaving in Year 11 and staff arriving or moving on. Dynamics come and go and the important thing to do is to make sure the ethos and expectations are right, so, whoever is in the building, the core purpose remains the same.

As I start my 26th year at this school( I know!), I count myself extremely lucky to have been able to work here so long and to see so many students pass through and go on be positive contributors to society in whatever they are doing. I have seen so many staff come through as well and have learnt something from almost every one of them. I have worked with so many families which has been one of the greatest privileges, supporting their children with them to get to where they want to go in life.

If I have one piece of wisdom that I have gleaned ,it is that being part of a community is the springboard to a successful life. It gives you a firm foundation and an unswerving belief that you have people who care and will support you, as you make mistakes and try to navigate your way through this life. As Helen Keller said ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’

Mrs Faulkner.

Monday 20th September 2021

This week in school our theme is I am a Good Communicator.

This means so many different things. Many people think they are great communicators but struggle to hear other people’s opinions, many people listen intently to others but do not think their opinion is worthy of expressing. The confident person in the room can sometimes overwhelm and quash the very valid opinions of others. Anyone who has ever been on a committee will know the sort of person I am referring to. Those people who consider everything they think and say to be the most important thing in the room at any one time and refuse to change that opinion or listen to anyone else.  As teachers we become very adept at noticing those people and mitigating their effect on a class and also noticing those students who are quiet, lack confidence but who have huge amounts of great thoughts and ideas to contribute.

 

Last week Mr Curtis met with the School Council for the first time this year and this week I will be meeting with the Prefects, Anti Bullying and Wellbeing Ambassadors. Good communication is key to all of these roles. It is only by listening to the student body and letting them discuss what they perceive to be the issues and the solutions, that the school will continue to evolve and grow as a community. We staff and parents have the tremendous privilege of watching our young people develop their effective communication as they move into near adulthood and leave us, ready to assume their place in the world.

 

So why is good communication so important?

It allows you to let others know what you are feeling, it helps you put your mark on the world and it gives you purpose. It brings the world together and makes it feel smaller and more cohesive. It provides people with the tools for change and the ability to make their dreams a reality. Interacting with other people, both verbally and non-verbally, should have a positive impact on our lives. If you regularly find yourselves in conflict with others or not expressing yourself effectively, take a step back and think what you need to change to get your message heard. Good communication can change the world!

Mrs Faulkner

Monday 13th September 2021

This weekend I have been thinking about loss. It started with the commemoration of that most terrible of days,9/11, where listening to the list of casualties read by their own families was so moving and poignant. A day of hatred and destruction remembered twenty years later and still so raw. Something so terrible has the power to destroy or the power to engender cohesion. The world in the immediate aftermath seemed smaller but also dangerous. However over the years the memories of how we all felt watching the day unfold on television and in person has been lost to people not immediately affected. That cohesive feel has dissipated – we just need to look at the news to depress ourselves about the heartache, sadness and anger across the world currently. That said the human condition at its most basic is full of positivity and love.

I was reminded of this with an example closer to home. One of our loveliest former students , Josh Davies, was sadly killed in a car accident this summer and on Sunday his brother and friends organised a charity football match at Downton Football Club to remember him and to raise funds for the Air Ambulance and NHS blood donation. Josh was a great Trafalgar student with just the right level of cheeky loveliness and an ability to make you feel more upbeat almost every time you spoke to him. The day was a perfect reflection of his personality, with a huge amount of former students turning out to support his family and play the match.  What a huge loss he will be to his family and friends, but also the world going forward. I do not mean to sound overdramatic but someone with his outlook is a sizeable cog in the process of making the world that little bit more friendly and positive, that little bit more kind.

As both the 9/11 tragedy and the loss of Josh teach us, we must go on trying to make this world kinder and never forgetting that we carry their hopes and dreams with us. We must make every second of our lives on this earth count and never give up believing that we can make a difference.

I send all of our condolences from Trafalgar to the Davies family – we were proud you chose to send  both him and Jack  to Trafalgar and we know he enjoyed his time here. We will remember him with love and pride.