Key Stage 2 Leader – Repton International School
Alongside Repton’s core values of Respect, Excellence, Truth and Wholeness, we seek to ensure that our children become well rounded individuals. To quote from Repton UK’s website, Repton encourages a conscious equilibrium in all things, encouraging pupils to adopt a healthy balance between their studies, sport, activities of all kinds and rest, so that they can emerge as rounded, multi-faceted individuals.
What does this look like in the real world of education, however, how do we encourage our children to thrive and be fulfilled at the same time as excelling in their academic goals? Due to a limited word count, I will reduce our endeavours to five main areas.
By planning engaging lessons that attract children’s interest, we are one step closer to achieving this golden balance. Children often come to us with a preconceived idea of their favourite subjects. A lesson taking notes about forms of transport in the past could certainly put a child off history, but a lesson where they recreate different vehicles and race them will spark a level of interest that leads to the desire to find out more about said vehicles. Reading a book and writing a character analysis are important examples of learning, but becoming the character and responding to questions in role will bring that character to life in a whole new way.
At some point, your child has probably gone through the stage of only wanting to eat one thing, and you have desperately worked to ensure that a variety of nutrients somehow absorb into your child. In the same way, in school, we try to provide a balanced diet of activities. Our curriculum already includes a healthy mix of languages, science, art, music, drama and sport, and we try, as far as possible, to include elements of these within other subjects. ECA’s provide a great opportunity to try out new skills and discover new interests, as well as meeting children from other classes and year groups and working together in different combinations.
When considering our adjectives, we must remember that they precede the word “person”, and human beings are often defined by their interactions with others. A top sports’ personality who refuses to visit a sick child will garner no support; a pop star turning their back on fans requesting autographs will soon lose popularity. We encourage children to be compassionate, to think of others in the community less fortunate than themselves, to buddy up and read or play with younger children, to respect everyone’s right to express an opinion that they themselves may not share. Encouraging children to turn their gaze outwards and consider their links to the people around them is a vital step in establishing our pupils as a vital cog in a community wheel.
Every child feels shy, particularly when faced with new situations, new people or new environments. However, we can give children a toolkit to overcome their reticence. Allowing children structured opportunities to stretch their boundaries, providing a safe environment to make mistakes and giving children a voice all contribute to making our Reptonians the confident and articulate youngsters you meet around our school. From FS1 singing an animal alphabet in assembly to our senior students taking a starring role in a Broadway-style musical, every contribution that has required a step-up in courage is valued and recognised.
School is a place of exploration, an arena where mistakes can be made and trajectories corrected. It is not designed as a military training ground, where children are conditioned to respond in only one set manner. Children are encouraged to reflect on the impact of their actions, on the consequences of their choices and on the effect they have on the people around them. By learning to regulate their own behaviours and understanding why teachers are guiding them towards certain practices, our pupils become grounded members of our community with an in-built moral compass.
School is only one part of the children’s journey to their adult-selves, but here at Repton, we will work hard to help your child become the best version of themselves, a rounded, grounded, unbounded individual who can claim their place in an ever-changing world.