The joys of living in a community

It is with a sense of relief that January has passed. Like most of the British population I do find it the flattest month in the year. The joys of Christmas have passed, the days still seem incredibly short, the weather at best erratic and the promise of Spring too far away. It is not surprising that psychologists have labelled certain days in January, such as Blue Monday, as the bleakest in the year.

For the girls it can also be a trying month, particularly those taking part in summer public examinations. The Christmas plans of revision have not been as well executed as they had hoped, the mock exams are rightly challenging and therefore the grades received for some are not as high as they anticipated. Summer seems a long way away.

So I was touched and lifted this week when I walked down the Sixth Form corridor to see on every girls’ locker a hand written note of something of good cheer. Small individualised notes to bring a smile, a message of positivity, a sense of wellness to their community. They are running a campaign of random acts of kindness, which has spread across the school, with messages and quotes pinned on notice boards lifting the spirits in the joyless month of January.

It began with their very fine assembly at the start of the month, encouraging the girls not to make resolutions which they are likely to fail, or “to have another year of new year, new me, make this the year where you think to yourself, new year, more me”. Too often we forget to be proud of who we are, we forget to look to the positives about what we have achieved and instead focus on what we are not or what we have yet to achieve.

As I walked down that corridor, after a very long day, my heart skipped, my face broke into a smile as I read the touching messages. As a Head it made me so proud. One should never underestimate the collective power of a positive community, where kindness really does matter and is valued. The girls certainly made a difference to me on that day.

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