The new academic year has got off to a flying start and all the children have settled back in splendidly to their work and routines. As I mentioned in my letter at the start of term, we extend a warm welcome to all our new families and hope the children are settling in well now.
Throughout the summer, the school site has been a hive of activity with several maintenance projects undertaken and our new holiday club which was a great success. The plan is now to extend this holiday provision throughout the year so Heathcote will be open 48 weeks of the year!
Year 6 prefects are starting to get to grips with their new responsibilities. In assembly on Friday our Head librarian Melissa read out her list of librarian helpers and Azlan announced his team of eco- reps. Alana also assembled her team of school council reps who will be contributing their ideas at their first school council meeting next week. I look forward to seeing the rest of Year 6 starting to take up their leadership position shortly.
seeing with the eyes of another,
listening with the ears of another,
and feeling with the heart of another.
This month we will be exploring the value of empathy. Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s thoughts and feelings from their point of view, trying to imagine yourself in their place in order to understand what they are feeling or experiencing. In other words, empathy is imagining yourself in someone else’s skin. As the character Atticus Finch says in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” As a society, it may seem at times that we are becoming more individualistic and self-centred, but neurological research confirms that humans and other social animals, especially primates, are equipped with “mirror neurons,” which give us the capacity to display, read and mimic emotional signals through facial expressions and other forms of body language. Mirror neurons help us share emotional experiences and become more empathetic toward others – nature’s way of causing us to care about other people.
During this month we will be working on the children’s empathy skills and helping them at all levels to see things from others’ points of view. This week for example they have tried out their ‘empathy glasses’ to consider what a friend or family member might be feeling in a given situation.
It has been lovely catching up with all the children this week and I look forward to speaking to KS2 parents at my coffee morning this Thursday straight after drop off. If you are unable to attend and have any questions or comments, please do drop me a line via the school office or catch me at the school gate one evening. If you would like more than a quick chat, please make an appointment to see me via the office.