At this time of year we often wish each other a happy, prosperous and/or successful new year.  Happiness, prosperity and/or success will however need more than a wish if they are to happen.  They will need work – indeed they will need relentless amounts of focussed hard work.

Over the holidays I read a book called ‘Bounce’ by Matthew Sayed.  It is one of numerous books which looks at the ideas behind success and failure.  It covers a lot of different ideas but some which stick in my mind include;

  • the importance of putting in the hours – 10,00 hours is what the research seems to say you would need to be a master of a craft.
  • the fact there are no short cuts or quick fixes – it is about relentless dedication, practice and determination to succeed
  • coaching is a big help – finding someone who can pinpoint what you are not good at and focussing on improving that area (making the marginal gains in the key areas)
  • failing is a big help – as long as you learn from failure and build on it
  • growth mindset – moving from thinking you cannot do something to thinking you cannot do it (yet)
  • chance plays a part but you can do things to increase your odds of success – if you believe you are an unlucky person you tend to be more risk averse and as a result you are not there when opportunities present themselves, if you believe you are more fortunate you often find yourself in the right place at the right time.  Put yourself in a position where you have more chance of success
  • you cannot do it alone – you need to surround yourself with successful people and with critical friends able to support you when you need it but also able to give you tough and precise messages too
  • oh and in order to matter it has to matter to you – I can want every child at Harlaw to do well but it will not happen unless they want it

All of this applies whether we are looking at; happiness (relationships), prosperity (wealth in financial and emotional terms) or success (in exams, in sports or any other field).

I hope we all have a happy, prosperous and successful year in 2017.  Whilst I will do all I can to help achieve this it requires you to be put in the effort, to accept support, to learn from failures and most of all to care enough to do something about it.

As school returned on Monday 9th January staff emphasised the messages from last term around raised expectations and in particular the advice presented here: Expectations Poster Decenber 2016 – in the main the response from pupils has been very positive and the work ethic in this first week of term has been good.

As the first week ended we used the winter weather arrangements for the first time.  Whilst the snow did not come to much it was helpful to practice our winter arrangements which include a shortened lunchtime and earlier finish.  I was glad we did this on Friday as it allowed us to get the pupils on their journey home at 3.00pm  in daylight and decent weather.  At 3.15 (our usual finish time) the skies were heavier and by 3.30 there was a covering of snow.