It is a profound question but, why do we do what we do at Yateley Manor? What are we trying to achieve? As a school we are focused on preparing children for successful adult lives. Children have a future full of challenges and opportunities ahead of them. So why do we do what we do and how does it help?
Our children will retire from employment in around 2090, which seems ages away. With the advancement in technology and changes in lifestyles in just the last few years, it is clear to see that we are preparing children for a future we cannot imagine. In their employment world of the future, there will be roles which have yet to be invented, of that we are sure.
To some extent we are preparing children for their future employment. Employers will look for collaboration, independence, leadership, resilience and communication skills, amongst many others. These are key elements that run throughout our entire curriculum from the very youngest years. Of course, they are important to instil in the children from an early age, to allow for purposeful development of skills in each area. But preparing children for successful adult lives is much broader at Yateley Manor, and to be honest it starts with the ‘here and now’.
We want children to enjoy their time at school, to feel safe and secure, with the support and challenge they need to develop as a person. Relationships lie at the centre of this and we are proud of those that exist within the Yateley Manor community. I have been speaking to parents this week about what makes Yateley Manor special and overwhelmingly the response has been directed to the ‘feel’ of the school: happy children; superb opportunities; wonderful staff who really care about the individual child, to name but a few.
Our curriculum is packed full of opportunities to challenge children which maintains their engagement in their learning. The co-curricular programme offers huge breadth to the children’s experiences at school with a vast array of activities. Our pastoral care is excellent and rightly so because we know that for children to learn best, they need to be happy and feel safe.
This morning we held a somewhat impromptu (although carefully planned in the background) whole school dance session. I use the term ‘dance’ in its loosest form although I always admired the cast of Fame on the television when I was growing up. We all met outside on the lawn and took part in a mass performance of “Cha Cha Slide”. The smiles on the faces of children and staff said it all. It was so wonderful to all be together and simply have fun. In our busy lives, and certainly with our incredible focus on all of the opportunities we are offering children at Yateley Manor, we forget sometimes to stop and just enjoy a moment of togetherness. The video is available on our FaceBook page and Vimeo channel.
Ultimately we do what we do because we want children to wake up every morning and be excited about going to school. We want them to relish another day of learning, where their thinking will be challenged and their experiences broadened. We want them to enjoy finding out who they are and dream of what they might achieve in the future. Their future employability is a part of this but we are dealing with people and that is what, as a staff, we all find so rewarding. It is a wonderful place to be – check out the video to see for yourselves!