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Good luck to all of our junior pupils who will be competing in our annual swimming gala this afternoon.…

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☰ Influence is Key

Head's Blog

Influence is Key

Posted on November 29 2018

I’d like to begin this week’s blog with a thank you. Thank you, Mr. Preston. Thank you for inspiring me to be the person I am today and the teacher I became. It was, in large part, down to you and your time and support offered to me when I was 11 years old at St. Nicholas’ Primary School. You see, up until that time of my educational career, I was, how shall we say this, a pupil who was disillusioned with school and learning. St Nicholas’ Primary School was my fourth school after moving around the country with the Tucker family, due to my father’s work commitments. I never really settled at any school for too long, or was there long enough to bed any firm roots - I suppose I subconsciously felt as though I would be moving on again soon, so why bother?

That all changed with Mr. Preston. He was a man who I will never forget, a man who opened up the world of learning to me and, ultimately, inspired me to become a teacher. He listened to me, really listened, and understood how I worked and how I thought. Therefore, his lessons were engaging and so much fun, I actually enjoyed being in his class for a change and could not wait to get to school to see what we were learning next. Whether it was acting out the Egyptian killing of Tutankhamun or investigating the best way to make a balloon fly, his lessons were inspirational. I remember so many of them today and tailor my teaching to the ways that he taught me.

In a recent Times Educational Supplement (TES) poll, they found that teachers have the third biggest influence on people’s lives. Not just for teachers like me, but for all of us adults who are now grown up, we can all look back on our teachers and reflect on the influence they had upon our lives. Despite a mixture of experiences, some good and some not so positive, I am sure we can all remember a teacher who has impacted our lives and improved it in some shape or form. This TES poll indicated that a third of those questioned, placed school as the biggest influence in their life, only just behind family life and friends. That is a huge impact that school life has on the younger generation and one we embrace here.

At Forest Park, we work tirelessly to ensure that every pupil’s experience at school is a positive one. Our children come to school and feel happy, safe and secure. Therefore, they feel comfortable to learn (and comfortable to fail), with a motivation to succeed to the best of their ability. Learning is a pleasurable experience and so our pupils actively develop a thirst for knowledge. There is a clear sense of community at Forest Park where we foster healthy attitudes towards learning and develop key lifelong skills. This generates children who feel valued and positively impacts their personal development and well-being, leading to a greater sense of worth. A child happy to learn is also one who is happy within themselves.

This term all of our pupils, from Reception to Year 6, took part in a pupil questionnaire at Forest Park, where we wanted to ascertain their feelings towards school and towards themselves. The results were outstanding, with an extremely high number expressing their gratitude to school and the staff. The strongest results recorded by pupils were with their feelings towards school and teachers and also their self-worth as a learner. This is a testament to the strong relationships built between staff and children at Forest Park and the family ethos of the school.

I am sure that many of our pupils will go on to succeed in their future careers. Perhaps we have aspiring teachers, doctors, pianists, engineers, accountants or even astronauts! But whatever our successful children go on to achieve, I am sure many of their lives will be shaped and inspired by the excellent staff team at Forest Park.

Nick Tucker

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