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Why You Will Never Be Average

Posted: 10th March 2021 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

I want to transport you back to the 1940s when the US Air Force started to wonder why so many of their planes were crashing. It was so serious that 17 pilots crashed in a single day. Their investigations led them to the conclusion that it wasn’t pilot error or mechanical error. What they discovered was revolutionary. Back in 1926, when the army was designing its first-ever cockpit, engineers had measured the physical dimensions of hundreds of pilots and used this data to standardise the dimensions of the cockpit. For the next two decades, the size and shape of the seat, the distance to the pedals and stick, the height of the windshield, even the shape of the flight helmets were all built to conform to the average dimensions of a 1926 pilot.

As part of the investigation into the cause behind the frequent crashes they measured ten body dimensions of 4063 pilots and found something stunning - not one person out of the thousands of pilots measured met the criteria of average. In other words, if you’ve designed a cockpit to fit the average pilot, you’ve designed it to fit no one! 

At Skippers we recognise this and greatly value the vital importance of the individual. One of the most exciting elements of being in education is recognising a child’s unique abilities and encouraging their growth and development. 

Headmasters distinctions this week perfectly illustrate the point that we all have our own unique attributes, talents and interests:

Arty  Y2- designing and amazing winter wonderland along with his passion for woodwork

Betsy and Millie Y5  - outstanding writing using figurative language

Numerous Year 5 and 6 children - innovative and hilarious stop motion animations

Year 3s - impressive ancient Egyptian stories using a variety of literary devices

Paul-Andre Y5 - designing and building his own house

Rory Y2 - for his amazing focus, independence and problem solving when engineering his Lego Wedo 

How does Skippers encourage each child to discover and develop their unique abilities? By making Skippers a safe, happy and stimulating place. We know that by making children feel safe and happy we reduce internal stress and cortisol which has been shown to inhibit learning and playful, imaginative thinking. We give them, in a sense, space to grow, through inspiring trips and visiting speakers, intriguing topics and learning experiences led by our exceptional and expert team of teachers.

As one parent said to us, when their child came to Skippers we helped them find their wings and fly.

Finally, each of us are irreducibly complex and exquisitely unique. We think that is a good thing because when we bring all that uniqueness together, when we collaborate, we can find amazing solutions to complex challenges. We all have a unique and valuable part to play and if we aim for the average, we risk missing the unique in you.

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