I met with parents today to discuss senior school options and potential scholarship routes for their son. When discussing with parents whether to go down the competitive scholarship route, I always begin with the advice that they should only choose this route if they are confident that their child will be resilient enough to cope if they are not successful at this challenging and competitive process. Typically I get the reply that they are indeed confident that this won't be a problem and that the son or daughter is more than capable of dealing with this sort of knockback.
Now the truth is, the vast majority of our candidates are successful and so don’t actually need to draw upon their reserves of resilience. However, I remain very proud that the overwhelming majority of them are willing to take the risk - I think it speaks volumes of their characters but also suggests to me that we are right to have resilience as one of our school values. It matters because, when the chips are down, it can be that character trait which enables one person to thrive in a challenging situation and another to falter. In fact, I consider this to be one of the most important parts of any education and this is why, here at Craigclowan, we spend so much time encouraging pupils to take risks and not to worry about failure - perhaps our unofficial school motto should be “failure is the first step in learning” or perhaps, to quote Yoda:
John F Gilmour