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Sharing Smiles and why it is an important Skippers’ trait

Posted: 22nd January 2021 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

How fitting our Reception children have been when choosing their topic this term: Sharing Smiles.    

It all started in the last week of last term when the class were discussing what topic they would like to focus on as part of their ‘In the Moment Planning’, which is where teachers observe and interact with children as they pursue their own interests and teachers assess and move their learning on in that moment.

As they discussed their various ideas: kindness, smiling and happiness, Gabby brought them all together with ‘Sharing Smiles’. This has captivated all the adults and children that work with Reception. Children are incredibly intuitive and with that moment of inspiration Gabby has brought happiness to many already. For me it was the lovely portraits they produced that made me smile and I was also mightily impressed with their creativity.

It is this genuine care that is the bedrock of the relationships that makes Skippers such a wonderful place to be for both children and adults alike. Sharing smiles and doing something for someone turns out to not only cheer someone else up but also makes you feel good.

How?

Endorphins, that wonderful brain chemical that gets produced when you are out there doing that three-mile run or a lot more if you are our Louise Ellis!  It is what puts you into the state athletes refer to as a Runner’s High. 

Well, you can experience a similar feeling, called a Helper’s High, a euphoria that happens when you do charitable deeds. The psychological theory being that giving, acts of kindness, produce a natural mild version of a morphine high.

Why?

Basically, acts of kindness lower stress levels. Lowered levels of stress are protective for the body for many reasons such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems and can improve immunity by raising the levels of antibodies produced. So developing a positive emotional state, offering your time, a warm smile, an empathic touch can help us all both mentally and physically. 

Skippers Trait

I believe ‘Sharing Smiles’ to be a Skippers’ trait. The supportive and positive relationships here are the foundation of what makes Skippers so unique and comes across in many ways. Whether it is: Reception sharing smiles with others; the Year 8s reading with and encouraging the Year 3s; the Eco Warriors, with Mr Leggett, taking over our Harvest festival donations to Crowborough Food Bank or our Year 7s having deep philosophical discussions about religion but always being respectful and appreciative of others’ opinions and beliefs. 

Our children are great like that, they can remind us of what is really important in life. Thank you Gabby and all of Reception for your inspiring theme.

Phillip Makhouli

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