William James (1842- 1910), an American philosopher and psychologist, wrote;
The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgement, character and will. No-one is master of himself if he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be an education par excellence.
At the beginning of this week the teachers met together and reflected on this statement in relation to their own teaching practice. Learning to give attention is one of the most important factors in the education of children. In an age where there is ever increasing distraction and diversion it becomes even more important to teach this simple but fundamental skill. It cannot be presumed that children develop this skill without explicit teaching. We were able to share the many different ways this is approached in the classroom and how the practice can be refined. One example is the use of good manners. This means that attention must be given directly to the person being acknowledged. A simple but far reaching practice.
Deputy Head of School