Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School, One of the phrases that we have on our school vision is ‘life long learners’.

What does that mean and how do we hope to achieve it, given our pupils only spend six hours a day for 390 half days or 195 days a year, for eight years at St Mary’s? When you think that most people live until they are over 80 years old this is obviously, in terms of time, a small amount of their lives. I think however the key is that these eight years are a vital time developmentally.

Attitudes, values, techniques, and processing skills that are developed during this time form the basis of the person that our pupil, your child will become. Many studies show that success in life is based more on the learning that takes place outside formal schooling. Playing cards, chess, draughts or snakes and ladders with your child are vital to develop not just thinking skills and the ability to retain rules (knowledge) but also they teach social skills and decorum.

Going for a walk or bike ride, taking your child fishing or to watch sport or just playing a game in the back yard with them teaches all of the same skills.

The difference from learning at school is that when pupils only focus on learning at school, then when school is finished for the day, or week, or forever—they think learning also stops. No need to read or write or solve problems. If, however, learning becomes part of a young persons life then learning becomes part of them for ever.

So next time you have an opportunity, look to play a game of cards with your child, and soon it will become something that you all enjoy.

Have a great week.

Mike Brosnahan

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