As highlighted in my last blog, there is no better springboard for your child’s education than investing in an independent school from the age of three (click here if you haven’t already read about the benefits). That said, we recognise that the financial climate for many families

Shaping futures – the importance of investing in primary education

Shaping futures – the importance of investing in primary education The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” The early years of a child’s life are crucial to shaping the adults they will

Why 3?

“My three-year-old was 100% ready for a teacher-led learning environment and has come on leaps and bounds since September.” Lower Kindergarten Parent Choosing the best start for your child’s education can be both an emotional and daunting process for parents. Firstly, it’s coming to terms with the

Children’s Mental Health Week

‘Kindful’ Kids This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and in school we shall be focusing on this year’s theme of ‘spreading a little kindness’ (#alittlekindness) You may have noticed on the internet and social media that there are a number of movements across the world, such

Look for the helpers

Television, radio, the internet and social media make it very difficult for parents to shield their children from upsetting stories such as the attack in Westminster last week. Despite the best will in the world to protect them from horrific and potentially frightening news, children will undoubtedly

Clean Sheets

In our house, happiness comes when wriggling into freshly laundered sheets at bedtime. Clean sheets are gently fragrant, smooth and crease-free and seem to promise a refreshing night’s sleep! For me, the start of a new academic year is a time for fresh starts and resolutions about

Childhood amnesia? Or just the wrong question?

October 2017 ‘How was your day at school today?’ or ‘What did you do today?’ are questions posed by so many parents in the car on the way home from school. For many children, the standard response is: ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I can’t remember!’ A typical


November 2017 You may have heard your children chatting about their ‘dojo points’ since the start of this academic year and been wondering what on earth they are talking about! If, like me, you were a child in the 1980’s, the first we knew about dojos was

Honesty is the best policy

‘Honesty is the best policy.’ – Benjamin Franklin December 2017 Children are the light of any parent’s life; they bring so much joy and happiness. Parents have high expectations and aspirations for their children and they all want what is best for them. Education plays an enormous

Giving a flying start to the citizens of tomorrow

‘It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.’ Ann Landers April 2018 Our school motto is: ‘Giving a flying start to the citizens of tomorrow.’ I have been thinking

‘I’m Having Nun of It’

21 September 2018 I have been thinking about habits this week. We often think about habits as a negative behaviour such as biting our nails, procrastinating, watching reality tv or drinking too much coffee. There is a widespread belief that it takes just 30 days to break

Caring For Other People’s Feelings

28 September 2018 It can be challenging for very young children to understand and empathise with their peers; the concept of ‘walking a mile in someone’s shoes’ requires higher order thinking skills. Young children are generally ego-centric and inclined to think about themselves and their own needs.


5 October 2018 Many of you may have seen for yourselves the amazing Redwood trees in America which stand taller than any other living thing on the planet. Have you ever wondered how deep the roots of such giant trees extend into the ground? Probably 200 feet?

The Learning Charter

The Learning Charter 12 October 2018 During their PSHEE sessions, each class devises their own ‘Learning Charter’. The Learning Charter sets outs the expectations (and rewards) for positive behaviour alongside the consequences for failing to meet the expectations. It’s a balance sheet of sorts and the aim

Anti Bullying Week

Next week, we are marking national Anti-Bullying Week in school which is co-ordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance ( The timing of this week dovetails perfectly with this half-term’s PSHEE topic of ‘Celebrating Differences’ and next week’s ethos theme which is: ‘We know how to help if someone

Road Safety Week

This week, we are marking national Road Safety Week in school which is an initiative by Brake – the road safety charity. This Road Safety Week we are shouting about the safety of those on two wheels and encouraging everyone to be Bike Smart. We can all

We try to solve problems

Next week, our ethos theme will be: ‘We try to solve problems.’ Children face a range of problems every day, from academic challenges to issues in the playground, from personal organisation to making difficult choices. Teaching children how to navigate these problems, and in turn develop their

The Importance of Compliments

Most people are prone to a little grumpiness now and then! We all have those days when we get out of the wrong side of the bed, we’re feeling a little bit off our game or under the weather. The next time you find yourself in that

We are working hard to achieve our own dreams and goals.

Perseverance is the name of the game as the little girl in this video demonstrates: click here. This video has been presented at two recent Headteacher meetings to exemplify how we need to encourage children to develop resilience and a growth mindset. The look of sheer triumph

It’s OK not to be OK

Next week’s ethos theme is: ‘We keep trying even when it is difficult.’ For schools and parents, this is a fundamental attitude we need to instil in our children. Our focus on social and emotional skills through our ethos themes and PSHEE lessons is really important for

We can work well with a partner or in a group

Next week, our ethos theme is: ‘We can work well with a partner or in a group’. The soft skills of teamwork and collaboration will be vital in the future workplace which is why one of our Froebelian Flyers is ‘Collaborative Colin’. The World Economic Forum has

We have a positive attitude

Next week’s ethos theme is: ‘We have a positive attitude.’ I found this short story (here) which explains the importance of acknowledging all the positives in our lives rather than focusing on the one or two ‘black spots’ which seem to dominate or taint our happiness and

We help others to achieve their goals.

Next week, our ethos theme is: ‘We help others to achieve their goals.’ We are in the midst of the awards season for films and this ethos theme reminds me of the actors and actresses who have been lucky enough to receive their Golden Globe, BAFTA or

The Happiness Project

Mrs Stratford and a team of staff have been busy preparing a special focused week of activities exploring the importance of peace and happiness in maintaining a healthy mind. Our ‘Happiness Project’ week will take place on 11-15 March and will encompass lots of activities and opportunities

We try to eat a balanced, healthy diet

Next week’s ethos theme is: ‘We try to eat a balanced, healthy diet.’ Given it will be Shrove Tuesday and pancakes will be in abundance, this is a timely ethos theme to link into Lent and to explore why some people abstain from sweet treats and other

We know how to keep calm and deal with difficult situations

Next week, our ethos theme is: ‘We know how to keep calm and deal with difficult situations.’ Following The Happiness Project, we asked the children what they had enjoyed most about the activities and workshops during the week. One session which received overwhelmingly positive feedback was the

We help others to feel part of a group

Next week, our ethos theme is: ‘We help others to feel part of a group.’ This is a particularly well-timed ethos theme given our current raft of residential trips. Although many of our children demonstrate great resilience and independence at home and at school, some children do

We know how to help ourselves and others when feeling upset or hurt

Our ethos theme next week is: ‘We know how to help ourselves and others when feeling upset or hurt.’ This is another example of how we teach the children to develop their personal resilience as well as their capacity to empathise with their peers. Although it is

We know and can show what makes a good relationship

Next week, our ethos theme is: ‘We know and can show what makes a good relationship.’ Helping children to recognise unhealthy relationships is an important part of their social development. Healthy relationships are built on trust and openness; alongside a balance in control. Sometimes children might dominate

We understand and respect the changes we see in ourselves and other people

Our lives involve a series of many changes and particularly so in childhood as we manage our physical growth as well as maturing emotionally and mentally. With children, we often use the analogy of the butterfly to explain the process. In a recent assembly, I explained how

We know who to ask for help if we are worried about change

At this time of year, there is a sense of anticipation in the air as our thoughts turn to new beginnings in September. FIV feel this more acutely than most as they leave behind everything which has been comfortable and familiar during the most formative years of

We are looking forward to change

Exciting times are ahead for everyone in school. FIV move on to their respective senior schools, all the children move up a class and a small number of staff are moving on to pastures new. We try to encourage the children to embrace change and to take

Handling Disappointment

Whether it’s a fixture defeat, a cancelled event, an ice cream that topples onto the floor, not winning a prize in a competition or a promise which had to be broken, a child’s life can be full of disappointments. As caring parents, seeing our child upset is

Mrs Dodds’ Blog February 2, 2017