A message from the new Headteacher

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in News | No Comments

New Year’s Honours and New Year’s Resolutions

A week ago the Queen announced her New Year’s Honours list; people recognised for their “extraordinary achievements and service”. Well, if I was the Queen I would definitely have given a medal to Isobel Bryce, who, as Headteacher, gave such great service to saltash.net, allowing the young people to achieve extraordinary things.

Isobel is an incredibly hard act to follow, but I will do my best to honour the things that make saltash.net such an excellent school: its inclusivity; the broad and balanced curriculum; the wide range of extra-curricular activities; sporting successes; a flourishing performing arts agenda; committed staff who value developing the whole child and enabling creativity. In short, a school that cares about head, heart and hand. We pride ourselves on academic success, but also on caring for the wellbeing of our young people and in giving them the skills to succeed in the twenty-first century. No wonder we are already oversubscribed for next academic year!

None of that is going to change. I am committed to maintaining all the things that make saltash.net such a great school, but I am also going to adopt some of the strategies from the New Year’s Honours winners to steer us on the next phase of our journey.

Two of the Honours winners were Jason and Laura Kenny. They were part of the British Olympic Cycling team; a team which won six gold medals and topped the medal table in Rio 2016. When Sir David Brailsford took over the team it wasn’t very successful, but his philosophy was that if you make a 1% improvement in lots of areas then the cumulative effect is huge. He called it “the aggregation of marginal gains”. To do this he made several tiny changes: he made the team use antibacterial soap so that they wouldn’t fall ill; they ate Montmorency cherries, which are high in antioxidants to help repair muscle damage; he gave them special pillows, changed the type of tyres on their bikes and made a whole host of other little changes. The results were extraordinary.

So, my New Year’s resolution is to make some small changes that will have big effects. Perhaps you could do this too? Maybe you could get up ten minutes earlier to give yourself time for a healthy breakfast, so that you aren’t distracted by a rumbling tummy during your morning lessons? Perhaps you could remember to get your planner signed, so that your first conversation of the week with your form tutor isn’t a nag? Perhaps you could complete your homework on the night it is set so that you don’t rush it at the last minute? Perhaps you could check that your uniform is acceptable, so we don’t all have to waste time sorting this out instead of helping you learn and develop?

If you can just change the little things, then the big things will follow. Try to change something that will have a positive impact on your success and happiness at saltash.net.

American meteorologist Edward N. Lorenz coined the term the ‘Butterfly Effect’ to highlight the possibility that small causes can have momentous effects: be a butterfly today!

With all good wishes for 2017

Kate Littledyke: Headteacher