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Happy New Year!

 

Happy New Year! What will 2018 bring? There can be few certainties in a New Year. We can be sure that there will be a new set of 12 calendar months to enjoy and we can be sure that in the Chinese Calendar we will leave the Year of the Rooster and enter the Year of the Dog. The joy of the new however is also the thrill of the unknown. Children relish fresh new opportunities far more readily than adults. If we adults are not careful we can get into a comfort zone that threatens our enjoyment of a new experience or challenge. Working with young children prevents this from happening. The excitement and energy created by new opportunities encourages all of us to model the courage we expect from others and just have a go!
This term is all about courage for our Year 2 children. At the end of the year they will be moving on to the next school and in order to determine where they go they are all sitting tests at, or visiting, potential new schools preparing for the next chapter of their educational journey. I have been so impressed with their level headed approach: “It is a time to show a new school just what we can do” said one child and this set the agenda for an interesting discussion about all the fascinating facts and skills they have learnt and aquired during their time at St Christopher’s. The wonderful topics that provide a platform to teach History and Geography through creative and enchanting investigations considerably add to each child’s knowledge bank. It was a treat to hear about the things the children had learnt across the years and to enjoy a happy chat about the past and the future.
Which brings me to Janus. As usual we have an assembly about January. The Anglo Saxons called the first month of the year Wolf Monath (month) and we talked about the ancient villagers probably putting food down outside the village boundary so that the wolves stayed a respectful distance away: “so they don’t eat your babies” said one focussed 4 year old, “or your rabbits” joined in another “or your tortoise” said another before we managed to draw that part of the debate to a halt and discuss the invasion of the Romans who introduced their own names for each month. We all enjoyed watching two Year 2 boys link arms and demonstrate what it would be like to have two faces one looking forward to the new year and one looking backwards to the old one to help us lean from past mistakes.  You may already have a picture of Janus in your head but I will end by referring you back to the title picture, sharing one 6 year old’s image. As I mentioned no challenge is too great for our children and for this one portraying a noble ancient Roman God was a piece of cake!
Annie Thackray