Head’s Blog: The Magic of Challenge

Posted: 19th October 2023

“Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew”  – Cicely Tyson

At the beginning of October I was invited to attend the ISA Midland Region Autumn Head’s Meeting at St Dominic’s Priory School in Stone. I was truly excited at the prospect of meeting with other Heads from the local area, sharing our experiences and learning more about the growing role of AI in education. However, as I sat down to peruse the programme for the day, my heart sank and I felt myself becoming agitated as I considered various plausible excuses I could make to leave. What triggered this feeling of panic, now, upon reflection, as I write it down, seems quite ridiculous. Item three on the agenda simply read:

Distinctive Magic Against The Odds

Presenter: Steve Faulkner

A multi-award-winning magician, Steve will share his journey of setbacks, and challenges whilst presenting his own unique blend of close-up magic.

Steve’s stories will resonate very clearly as we reflect on our own challenges of leadership.

However, consider this: (a) I loathe magic shows (b) I dread the prospect of audience participation, and  (c) by positioning myself on the front row, I was easy pickings!

Long story short, I decided to stay and I’m really glad that I did. Steve was an interesting and articulate speaker who quickly engaged us in his own continuing journey of self-development. He openly shared the professional and personal challenges he has encountered on the way, from dropping out of college (twice much to his dad’s distress), joining clown school and experiencing the highs and lows of performing in public. And, as much as it pains me, I have to admit that I enjoyed his magic tricks, even when I was, as feared, asked to join in. 

Steve is a great believer in constantly challenging yourself throughout life, whether at work or play and my two key takeaways from his session are:

  1. Challenge is a key ingredient of happiness as well as something that keeps boredom at bay.
  2. Whether you are putting yourself outside your comfort zone by going for an interview or have decided to learn a magic trick, approach both tasks in the same way. Get to work, throw yourself into it wholeheartedly and enjoy the struggle. 

This half-term our pupils (and staff!) have thrown themselves into various challenging situations. As I’ve said before, we thrive on being busy here at Edenhurst, so whilst not an exhaustive list, here is a whirlwind review of what we have been involved in over the last 6 weeks: completed First Aid  training, visited Condover Hall, Delamere Forest and Standon Bowers, competed in various sport matches both home and away, launched local charity projects with Caudwell Children and Alice Charity, dug up potatoes and gathered apples from our allotment, commenced swimming lessons at M Club, experienced new Extra Curricular Activities such as Coding and Mindful Yoga, participated in the ISA Indoor Ski Championships, toured visitors during open week, held pastoral ‘Meet the Teacher’ events, welcomed Adam Atkinson (Head of Digital Development for the Bellevue group of schools) to hold IT workshops and danced the afternoon away at a spooktacular Halloween disco.

Wow! What an action packed start to the new academic year we’ve had. What determination, perseverance and resilience we’ve all shown! That’s the Edenhurst Edge shining through.

Wishing the Edenhurst community a happy, safe and well-deserved  half-term break. I look forward to seeing you all again on Monday 6th November, revitalised, raring to go and ready to face whatever challenge the next chapter throws our way. 

Mrs Emma Mousley

Categories: School Blogs

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