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28 February 2020

Head's Message 28 February 2020

Heads Message 28 February 2020

It Takes a Community to Educate a Child

As I find myself receptive to the change in seasons that is quickly approaching, I caught myself reflecting on our community here at The Hampshire School Chelsea. That embellished community thread that runs so prominently within our core values, embedded within the heart of the school and through our pupils and parents alike.

It was a real pleasure to discuss and explore the concept of community with our children during assembly this week. Their responses were truly inspiring and it was so wonderful to hear how proud they are of being a member of a community of pupils here within our school. I used the analogy of a bunch of twigs, with each twig having its own unique qualities and individuality, and inevitably being stronger when placed together in a bunch. The children related very well to the symbol of unity and togetherness that this portrayed. A value I see on a daily basis amongst the children here.

As a school community, the children are fully immersed and involved in the development of the school through the ‘Pupil Voice Programme’. Effective partnerships are based on mutual trust and respect for each other. It is through our school community identity that this is driven and underpinned by our five Core Values that we can focus on honouring the culture, traditions, values and relationships that have had such a long and special resonance for our community of families here.

In light of this, I was drawn to the African proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. The quote itself has at its premise, the idea of neighbours, friends and extended family all ‘pitching’ in to offer advice and support to one another. I like to believe that our community here at The Hampshire School Chelsea is an extended family, supporting the education of all of our children. The responsibility to provide an exceptional education is the forefront of leadership at the school, yet best practice can only be achieved by working together and through collaboration.

At The Hampshire School Chelsea, we recognise the primary role of the family in the education of each child through the sharing of ideas, issues and recommendations for best practice. Our community here, therefore, has a huge role to play in shaping our school policies and future. The Parent Representative meetings are hugely helpful in moving the school forward in development and the Class Representatives themselves support effective communication and a smooth transition of new families into our school. The parent survey and the opportunity to engage with our Governors, during our Governance Review this week, again provide parents with the opportunity to engage and share their perceptions of the school and make beneficial recommendations for improvement, utilising our community thread back into our school and again into its future development.

Parents’ values and interests are respectively heard and this partnership is consistently maintained through effective daily communication between the school and its community of parents. The ‘touch-base’ opportunities with leadership of the school during ‘drop-off’ and collection, our newsletter, our weekly ‘Need to Knows’, the school calendar, our school website; that enables a platform for parents to easily access our key information via a protected parent portal, daily email contact, the children’s homework diaries and our face-to-face and welcoming open-door policy. These are all varying threads to link our school with our home connections, and our community of parents and carers.

I am thankful to the school community for making the inaugural parent and pupil breakfast which was a great success! Over one hundred parents and their children took the opportunity to share in the experience on Valentine’s Day. The workshops, presentations and demonstrations around areas of learning such as Literacy, Numeracy, the Early Years Curriculum, Online Safety and Pastoral Care, truly ensure that our families understand the school’s main aims and breadth of curriculum opportunities that we offer our children.

We continue to welcome parents to assemblies and on our educational trips, as well as be involved in our topic days and prominent seasonal festivities; UN Day, the Christmas Fayre and the range of Development Group events. As we approach Easter and the Summer term, we look forward to seeing parents at our many community events: the Fathers’ Day Breakfast, the Community Friendships Bench Initiative, Community Day, Wellbeing Week, the Poetry Competition, World Book Day, the many music concerts, class assemblies and the greatly anticipated production of The Jungle Book to name but a few.

Our families participate in a wide variety of ways and it was reassuring to note that the recent parental survey confirmed that over 93% of our community feel that the school encourages them to be involved in the life of The Hampshire School and that they are informed about its overall development. I look forward to sharing the Parent Survey results with the community this term.

Community evokes feelings of warmth and inclusivity and our assembly on Tuesday ended with the whole school community singing, ‘We’re Better Together’, an inclusive activity that acknowledged that working together helps us ‘build connections to others’.

I shall close this blog acknowledging our Hampshire School Chelsea community thread that feeds so significantly into our wider community. It is with this partnership with parents, that we are stronger and able to support every single child in our family here at The Hampshire School Chelsea.  

Dr Pamela Edmonds




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The Hampshire School Chelsea

15 Manresa Road, Chelsea
London, SW3 6NB

Tel: +44[0] 207 352 7077