Primary 7 will be heading along to Falkirk High School later today to work with the music department. They had to choose a song to reflect success and ambition and I was making suggestions out of my back catalogue which were summarily dismissed! One of my suggestions was this song. I do enjoy music and, like many folks, have accounts with Amazon and Spotify. What I do tend to do though is listen to the same songs and playlists over and over again to the great annoyance of my children as I tend to choose songs that I like to sing along to. One of the songs that is on my playlist is the Hothouse Flowers version of this song and as I was looking for it I stumbled across the fact that this song was also part of the soundtrack for Cool Runnings which tells the story of the first Jamaican Bobsled team and their journey to the winter Olympics in Calgary. A film about self confidence and belief in your abilities and as an added bonus has John Candy in a starring role!
The sentiment of the film tied up neatly with a conversation I was having with an instructor at PGL Dalguise. We have just returned from a brilliant week at our residential experience in Dalguise. I’m sure that you will have seen a selection of photos coming through our twitter stream and many more will be uploaded shortly. We are very proud of our children who abseiled and ziplined, climbed up and fell down and supported and encouraged each other to push themselves into challenging experiences. As I was speaking with one of the instructors they felt a large part of their job was to support children who say “I can’t” when they mean “I don’t want to” – or “I don’t know how”. The residential experience has a core theme of Challenge by Choice which encourages children to push themselves a little bit further than they feel comfortable doing. And the big question for all of us is how to effectively support our children to do just that? We are all pretty good at laying out the things we are no good at, and find it much more challenging to share the things we are good at. I suppose it’s part of not wanting to seem boastful or big headed but it does mean that too many of us have a more negative view of our abilities than we should.
As a school we are beginning to think abut ways to address this with our own children. Bounceback resilience education is one way we have been attempting to do this and I have written about this before. Next year we will be looking to develop our understanding of a growth mindset. This is based on the work of Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology in America. You may have seen the beginnings of some growth mindset work around our school if you have been in recently and ClassDojo has some really good short videos to help explain the concept to children too.