From the Desk of the Executive Headteacher

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November 2019: 

Last week, probably like many parents, I spent some time working with my children on their homework. We had to construct a 3D animal cell with the relevant nucleus, cytoplasm and mitochondrion; words that at first confused me…...

Jelly, I thought, would be a great medium for our 3D model. Was it my child’s homework or mine? As the week went on I found it difficult to shake off the impression that we, as parents, were being judged on our creative arts skills. Were we being judged? Was my own lack of skill in art hampering my parent skills?

Only a few days before I’d had a parents evening at my child’s school. On my way there I’d realised that I was quite nervous. Deep-down I feared it wasn’t simply my child who was going to be judged at parents evening…...but me. After all, if it turned out that my child wasn't doing well at school it was probably my fault and probably meant that I wasn’t really a very good parent,  that I was letting my child down. I remember anxiously approaching the classroom and I was already imagining what the teacher would say: "Mr Pywell, what time do you call this? Your slot started two minutes ago, now sit down before you are put in detention. Sit up straight, don’t slouch and pay attention because I’m going to be asking you questions later. Well, it gives me no pleasure to report that your parenting this term has been extremely disappointing. Your child hasn’t finished their homework and at times hasn’t turned up with the right equipment. You need to try harder".

Luckily, these are just my thoughts, but it really worries me that sometimes parents think we are judging them rather than their children. It’s very hard being a parent and coming to terms with everything we are expected to do as parents. I just come to terms with the sense of failure most of the time; the fact that whilst we do our best, sadly we so often feel we should be doing better.

We can only try our best to make every effort to support our children and give them every opportunity we can, to open those doors to give them the chance to learn.

Best wishes, Stuart Pywell

Executive Headteacher: Mr. Stuart Pywell Address: Hales Drive, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7AD Tel: 01227 464119 Email: admin@ststephensjuniorschool.co.uk
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