Lower II Parents’ Conversation
Friday 4th October 2019
Dialogue in Action.
On Tuesday 1st October Lower II parents met staff in an evening of conversation about life at St Augustine’s Priory and in Lower II. Mrs Knowles, Deputy Head, Juniors first read two extracts from ‘Mind Their Hearts’ by David Boddy:
‘When youngsters are ten years old, something special happens. The intellect starts to catch fire. Every human being has an intellectual capacity to differentiate between right and wrong, true and false, and what is temporary (or passing) and permanent. From this age on, all responses must be directed towards activating that power of reason, which, in turn, needs to be sustained by the deepening power of parental love. The period between ten and fourteen can be tricky.’
‘The golden rule when learning to cope with the challenging behaviour of the pubescent teenager is this: The phenomenon is not terminal. It passes. Every parent is a testament to that. A large part of the problem is that parents take the adolescent behaviour of their child to be true and permanent, and even consider it a black mark against themselves; whereas teachers can step back from the coalface and see the same behaviour as a passing wave.
Nonetheless, during the course of its expression, coping with teenagers as their bodies, minds, and emotions seem to toss about is a tricky business. It is best to deal with this as a team – school and home together. During this critical time in the life of a young person, the great forces that shape their development need to be on the same page – and to be known by the youngster to be on that same page.’
Mrs Knowles then went on to speak to the parents some words which demonstrated our hopes, beliefs and work for the girls in our care:
‘Helping our girls to find their voice, reconcile with others when there are differences and be open to deep learning through a developing growth mindset supports them to go on and achieve the brilliant results in the Seniors and Priory 6.
It is through a love of learning instilled in our girls and a resilience to truthfully analyse what might have gone wrong in academic, social or family scenarios and learn from risk-taking, exploration and making mistakes, or not being chosen for something on a particular occasion, that leads to great accomplishment. We need to help our children realise that forgiving themselves and others is something human beings do.
As a Catholic school, we foster a safe environment for girls to be able to acknowledge what has happened, experience and explain to their peers and adults how they are feeling and if they have faith in God, to ask for His help when forgiving, letting go and moving forward. With support from home and at school, our girls could do this with greater ease but with no less meaning and importance.
We are aiming for the girls to experience true friendships: to delight in each other and share goodwill, to demonstrate that they have each other’s best interests at heart, and to be equal in friendship.
We actively facilitate every girl in finding their voice but sometimes it takes longer for some girls.
Lower II is an age group where the development of voice really takes shape. We want to work with you in partnership, to raise independent young women who will fit into a world so very different from when we were growing up. They will become their own teachers and share their own wisdom one day. They need to be equipped with their own voice, a forgiving nature and a growth mindset to champion the work we only begin with them as a foundation upon which they can rely when making life choices.’