End of 2022 Message

Posted: 7th July 2022

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…A newly appointed Head teacher stood in front of an expectant audience of parents, teachers and children, in the King’s Hall in Stoke-on-Trent, ready to set his stall out. His message: Your children need a Growth Mindset! That was me, 4 years ago, and today I couldn’t agree more with my younger self!

Thankfully that message being reiterated time and time again, being characterised in our learning friends, filtering into the language of teaching and learning, took seed and when we needed it most, as a school, bore fruit. In late March 2020 whilst all around us floundered, we flourished. We accomplished things that no other school in the area could match. We took great risks, always placing the needs of our families first – and that should never be forgotten. We as a staff still apply those lessons daily. It astounds me how resilient our community has been in coming back after those dark times. It shouldn’t, because  we, as a school, HAVE a Growth Mindset. Boys and girls and staff alike. This year has felt ‘normal’ – we have packed our calendar with experiences that have enriched our children’s lives immeasurably. It hasn’t been normal, it has been spectacular. 

But the challenges are NOT over. We are once again faced with new threats that will test our Growth Mindset like never before. Unprecedented inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty.   Unscrupulous competitors. A new Headteacher! But I back Edenhurst! I back our Growth Mindset and I back our community. Why do I say so? Two reasons: Our track record and our priorities. Edenhurst is an organisation that embraces change – we don’t fear it, we welcome it and we thrive because of it. We will always continue to do things differently and better than our competitors. We will do so because we ALWAYS put our children first. And what of that new headteacher? I have no doubt that the new head will bring fresh ideas and a new international perspective. She will sharpen our Edge and Edenhurst will be a better school because of her leadership.

Change is more often than not, a good thing but it always hurts at the time. On Speech day we often say goodbye to colleagues. Today is no different. This year Mr Beasely left Edenhurst at Christmas to build his very successful business and Miss Turner left us at Easter to pursue her dream of becoming an Educational Psychologist. We gained the expertise of Mr Bennett and the enthusiasm of Miss Butler. Today we also bid farewell to Mrs Weetman who has been at Edenhurst for over 20 years and to Mrs Amjad. We look forward to welcoming Mrs Morton and Ms Martin. 

There are, however, some holes that are almost impossible to fill. Liz Hodgkinson is a true Edenhurst Legend. She attended this school as a child and has spent the past 24 years shaping the lives of children at Edenhurst. There is no better Reception teacher.  Liz has been my go-to person for all things EYFS and I have learnt a great deal from her and I am forever in her debt. Liz will be sorely missed by us all next year but has promised me that she will be available to cover lessons should we need her. We wish Liz and Simon all of the best in retirement. 

My advice to Prep 6:

To quote Simon Sinek (for the 5th year in a row!) : 

  • ‘Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.’ Find what you love doing and work hard at. Don’t settle for anything less than following your passion.
  • There is no ‘They’. Things that go wrong may be others’ fault but it always becomes your problem. Don’t blame others even if they are wrong. Take responsibility! Only you have the ability to write your future.
  • Gary Player (a famous South African Golfer) said: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Work hard and there is nothing you can’t achieve. You have the Edenhurst Edge – Wield your Edge. You are ready for anything, I hope they are ready for you! Wield your Edge.


A couple of thank you’s:

  • The team from Bellevue for their support over the past 4 years. We haven’t always seen eye to eye but I never doubted your commitment to this school.
  • Mrs Wardle – the engine room and Font of all Edenhurst Knowledge. Your value to this school is immeasurable. 
  • The exceptional team of staff who work at this school – all of whom bleed Edenhurst Purple. In particular Mrs Bennett and Mrs Bartholomew for coping with their ‘Baptism by Fire’ – they’ll know what I mean!
  • The wonderful families who make great sacrifices to send their amazing children to this lovely little school.
  • Mrs Hibbert, Moz and Millie  for always following my hair-brained schemes!

I am Michael Hibbert and I have the Edenhurst Edge.

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