What have we learned? What should remain "changed"?

Karen Mahar – Assistant Principal, Deputy Head of Junior School

Karen Mahar - Assistant Principal, Deputy Head of Junior School

Karen Mahar - Assistant Principal, Deputy Head of Junior School

I wonder how many of us have thought as I have been lately, “What if these catastrophic, dramatic and highly influential events of 2020 are all part of a bigger plan to alter the course of civilisation, aimed at guiding us to achieve a more fulfilling, sustainable way of living and interacting with each other and our environment?” 

While the world around us is experiencing significant changes to its previous state of flow, maybe at this time of disruption, upheaval and disharmony, now may prove an ideal opportunity to consider the implications of these changes to both around and within us?

In the rush to return to what we previously called “normal”, it would seem appropriate to consider which parts of “normal” are worth rushing back to. If things go back to exactly as they were, is this not a sign that we will most likely have missed the learnings these changed events have presented us?

There seems real meaning in Leslie Dwight’s inspiring poem that went viral, after some people whimsically declared “2020 should be cancelled”.

By Leslie Dwight

Image by Banksy


Beyond these discussions of what lessons each of us may have learned, what new actions and ideas can we now put into place?  

Consider our Year 6 specialist Art class. The students are inquiring into Where We Are In Place and Time with the central idea of “Art reflects the times in which we live” based on a quote by Nina Simone “It’s an artist's duty to reflect the times in which we live.”

The Year 6 students have explored many examples of both historical and contemporary art, including UK-based street artist and political activist, Banksy, who famously delivered the artwork shown left to a London Hospital in support of the Front Line Health workers. Over the weekend Banksy also released provoking images responding to “Black Lives Matter.”          


Road workersSome of you may also be familiar with local artist Mick Ashley, who recently created the print to the right, entitled “The Road Ahead, 2020.” 

Herbert Spencer once wrote:

The great aim of education

is not knowledge but action.”

Hand sanitising and temperature checks

Recent times have unveiled an opportunity for our Junior School students to demonstrate greater independence and improved self-confidence. Where once many children were delivered to their Junior School classroom by parents, now these same students walk independently, displaying a gallant confidence with each stride taken. What else may they be capable of?

In his book “Strictly Parenting – Everything you need to know about raising school-aged kids,” Michael Carr-Gregg advises that young people will feel more competent when they have to struggle to achieve something – when they need to be persistent, tenacious and to dig deep as they face a challenge, cope with a setback or make a mistake along the way. He adds “This is what makes successful kids...”.

As active members of a community as wide and diverse as Radford’s, let’s be optimistic about the new daily habits we can adopt and any fresh ideas we can develop independently, or while working with others.  

Change will come our way.

We can GO through it or we can GROW through it.

We grow when we seek out solutions rather than let obstacles hinder us.

George Couros

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