In a week where all except our walking wounded took part in our own invitational cross-country, and following a lecture about retracing the footsteps of Scott’s expedition to the South Pole, it seems appropriate to offer a brief word on resilience, or ‘grit’.

One of our Year 8 runners shared with me her secret tactic to fight fatigue, which was to write the words ‘keep going’ on the back of her hand and glance at them when she felt like throwing in the towel. In her book, ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’, Angela Duckworth says that:
“Grit is sticking with your future – day in, and day out – and not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future your reality.”

I’m not sure that Pippa could fit that onto the back of her hand, but it is a nice summary of what could be meant by resilience in schools. It is tempting to think only of cross-country or sponsored walks as the means to this end.

In fact these are just one of many ways in which the children develop the can-do attitude that in turn helps them to overcome the tricky maths lesson, the spelling test that they didn’t quite get to grips with, a fall out with their friend at break time or the energy to get up and go after a long half term. Here’s a thought: would the Sedbergh pupil be the same were it not for a fair chunk of rain through the course of the year?

Building intellectual, social and emotional character is just as important as learning spellings and the process happens in all walks of School and home life. It is something about which I feel very strongly and it has been great to see it in such evidence over the course of this half term.

At the time of writing, I am still to attend the Half Term Concert but I know the performances from our younger musicians will be full of verve and enjoyment. They are only just starting out on their path to stardom, so perhaps I will finish with another quote about the need to keep going and be resilient:

“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” (Jim Watkins)

Have a lovely half term.


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