One of the many ways COVID-19 has impacted so many people this year is by isolating us, causing us to feel lonely or lacking in confidence. If ever an attribute was required during this point in time, it’s the need to be resilient. How fortunate our students have been to have the support of their teachers, friends, family and others in the broader community who care for them, so they need not ever feel really alone.
We are also sure to help students set goals they can strive for, and we help them on the journey. Goals are so important in life. Doing the best you can do academically is a fantastic goal. Athletes never stop aiming to achieve personal bests, and students should have the same persistence. At Carey, we encourage a number of attributes which help them on their way towards personal bests and continuous improvement to create wise, independent, motivated learners. Sometimes though, setting great goals can be daunting, which is why looking at the small things is a really terrific way of approaching the journey. The Marginal Gain theory was developed by Sir David Brailsford, and is a great one to keep in mind when striving to achieve your goals.
‘The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by one per cent, you would get a significant increase when you put them all together.’ – Sir David Brailsford.
Everyone now needs to look at each aspect of their lives at School. Then to look at it as one big harmonious whole and try and see how one aspect of your life interacts with the another. So now let’s looks at ways to improve our learning – ask yourself these questions:
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you keeping your phone away from you before or during when you sleep?
- Are you logging off social media when studying?
- Are you hydrating properly?
- Are you eating the right foods at the right time?
- Are you actually organised for the school day?
- Should you be waking even just five minutes earlier to plan the day?
- Then, write a list with your family to see what one per cent improvements you can make and then put them all together.
Last Friday our Year 10s took part in a day online titled The Leader Within. We seek to prepare our students to be happy, inquisitive, adventurous and lifelong learners. We need to be able to equip them with the knowledge, skills and values that will ensure they are able to adapt, excel and improve their communities as they grow throughout their lives. Teaching the students how to learn and to capture their imagination and passion are paramount. I have always encouraged students’ perseverance towards their personal bests and continuous improvement. We should all firmly believe that no one is born with all the social skills needed for everyday living. Each one of us needs to keep on learning to manage ourselves better becoming a more effective group member. Leadership should not be bestowed upon us by any formal appointment; it should be a journey on which each student should travel some distance along a personal path towards managing themselves and influencing others, and to hopefully be given the skills, values and knowledge to continue this throughout their lives.
You might also be able to help someone else’s life improve by one per cent – reach out to others, let your family and friends know how much you care about them. Seek out the vulnerable and support them as best you can.
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Welfare