At Springmead we educate the whole child; personal development is as important as academic rigour. There are a plethora of ways in which we approach these two fundamentally important areas, in the classroom, through the curriculum, and through the rich variety of experiences our children enjoy beyond usual lessons. Through clubs, trips, sport and performing arts to simple routines that we use as opportunities for individual personal growth every day. An illustration of this was evident in the school this week. Charlotte Munckton delivered an assembly on ‘being our best self’ (one of our Springmead Values), she used the dining hall as her example, then during the week we noticed and acknowledged good table manners. The dining hall is a place where children enjoy food and each other, there is a time to chat to friends but also times to be quiet, there is a time to think about a balanced diet, and it is a time where we practice good table manners and ‘what we would do in a restaurant’. We all serve meals to the children, including Madeleine and I, collectively we carefully monitor choices and make gentle suggestions, parents are involved in discussions around any particular issues. In this way we are using this time of the day (which most of us may remember as a time led by dinner ladies), as a valuable learning time managed by very qualified staff who know the children well ~ every second counts on our learning journey.