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You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink (12th Century)

20th May 2019

As we enter the examination season I am sure there are a number of parents out there for whom, along with teachers, the words of this week’s quotation may resonate.

The lessons have been taught, revision notes made, advice proffered and it is now up to our children/students to take the opportunities before them and do the best they can. We have led the ‘horses’ to water and now we can only hope they will drink!

Of course we don’t leave it to ‘hope’ and one thing we work hard to help students develop at Wychwood are good ‘Habits of Mind’. These are the skills identified by Arthur Costa and Bena Killick, which aim to create good learners. They include perseverance, taking responsible risks, managing impulsivity and remaining open to continuous learning (the focus for this week).

In order to develop such habits we teach about them explicitly but more importantly we encourage and praise students when they show evidence of them in their day to day life and work. Habits develop over time, through regular practice (Aristotle compared the process to the learning of a musical instrument), by praise of the behaviour we want to encourage and observing good role models. This is something none of us is too old to learn from and we all have a responsibility to model the behaviour we wish to encourage in our young people and to be mindful of the way we talk to them, that what we say builds up rather pulls them down (even/especially when we feel very frustrated!).

Studying for examinations is never easy and it cannot be forced. However through the acknowledgement and encouragement of effort and good habits, all our girls have the capacity to grow and achieve. We wish them well through this testing time… oh and chocolate can help!

Mrs Crossley

Leading A Horse To Water