Happy New Year and welcome back. I hope that you managed to have a good rest and have some renewed vigour for the year ahead.
We have been reviewing our Wellbeing provision in school and over the break I took the opportunity to do some research during which I found a course offered online by Yale University called ‘The Science of Wellbeing’ delivered Dr Lauria Santos. It turns out to have been the most popular class in the history of Yale and features lectures on things people think will make them happy but don’t, and, more importantly, things that do bring lasting life satisfaction. It also encourages you to put what you learn in to practice and reflect on the effectiveness. Dr Santos is a psychology professor and she draws on a number of research studies to support her ideas. She includes the results of research about the impact of social media, spending too much time on a smartphones, the benefits of social interaction in general, savouring and gratitude, meditation and mind control, physical exercise etc to name a few.
I have not put all the strategies into practice as yet but I can certainly spot where I have made a few mistakes in the past. Having access to such high quality content delivered by leading educators that can be accessed at anytime, anywhere is a real benefit in this digital age, and yes I do recognise the irony in this statement, and so as with most things it is all about balance. For those of you who are interested the course can be found on ‘Coursera’. We are currently thinking about how we could run something similar for our students and how some of the strategies she suggests could alleviate some of the stress at the crunch points during the year and improve general wellbeing. I hope to be able to report back to you on this in future newsletters.
We are currently in the middle of the Year 13 mock examinations and things seem to be running smoothly so far. The Year 12 progress tests will take place the first week after half term, the week beginning 25 February 2019. University offers are coming in and the Year 12 will be introduced to the universities application process and the associated timelines on Monday 21 January 2019.
Many thanks to all who supported the Stephen Perse PFA in 2018.
We had a great Christmas Fair, hosted by the Junior School in December, which raised just over £1,000, making a really good surplus for us to invest in 2019 activities - thanks go to all staff and parents who helped with arrangements. The Panto sold out exceptionally quickly this year, but while we sold a fair number of Christmas puddings, supplier issues mean we may not repeat this again.
Parents signing up to Classlist have put Stephen Perse in the top 10 of schools using Classlist - a total of 71% of parents in our community have now signed up, so do join us so you don’t miss out! Please sign up to communicate with other parents and year groups, and to get notices about the PFA and our events to support students across the school. You will have been sent an email (over the summer holidays last year) to the email address that you have indicated to use for school communications, so please check your email for the link and sign up asap, or look out for a reminder from the Classlist app.
PFA - Looking forward in 2019
The PFA is always keen to engage with parents as committee members, as Class Reps, or for one-off events and activities. We are specifically looking for a parent volunteers to help organise the Valentine's bake sale and the Summer Fair as well as to manage second-hand uniform sales.
Activities planning for 2019 will kick off at the PFA meeting in FMR1 at the Senior School on Monday, 14th January (7pm arrival for 7.30pm start). We'll be discussing a PFA-funded, student-led competition to invest in new equipment or new activity(ies) across the SPF schools - so we'd welcome volunteers who'd like to get involved!
If you want to bring more to the table, we would very much welcome your input about what else we can do to support the parent community and get the most out of parents joining in for the students! Please do get involved by attending the PFA meeting on Monday, 14th January, by getting in contact by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via Classlist.