Summer is almost upon us as is the last half term of the academic year. Let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the exciting activities that have taken place here in the Preparatory Department over the spring months…
In March, we celebrated International Women’s Day when staff and pupils dressed up to represent the women that have inspired us, or who have inspired generations of people. We talked about positive female role models such as Rosa Parks, Mia Hamm and J K Rowling – all strong women in their own right and in terms of rights for women.
It was a hugely important day for us to mark as a girls’ school; these are the women who have laid the foundation stones for the future leaders, collaborators and contributors in our school community in order to build a fairer and more inclusive society.
It is central to our school community to model to our girls that feeling positive and engaged with life is sometimes more about thinking of others; being kind to people. Kindness is a hallmark of the girls’ actions at Manchester High; something that never ceases to impress me about our young pupils, and of which I am inordinately proud. For example, the raising of over £7,000 for the NSPCC by our girls was a huge tribute to their ability to think of the well-being of others.
As we approach summer, we appreciate the wonderful sense of calm that even a short walk in the fresh air can bring to a busy mind. We will have all read the media output concerning mental health over the last few months. As a school, we know the importance of focusing not just on the academic pursuits of our pupils, but also on enriching their lives and developing minds with strategies for leading a calm and happy life.
Developing an enjoyment of the outdoors and appreciating the wonders of the world around us are central tenets in our enrichment curriculum. Our first Year 5 residential this year was a resounding success, as are our garden appreciation programmes and additional trips and visits to places of interest around Manchester. Whilst all of these activities are exciting in their own right, it is heart-warming to see that girls are starting to develop a love of the outdoors that will offer a life-long pleasure they can return to again and again as they navigate adolescence and early adulthood.
Our girls demonstrated huge enthusiasm for animal life as our wonderful ‘Farm for a Day’ event proved earlier in May. The PTA supplied a day of happiness and excitement for every member of our Prep school as they brought in a mobile farm to school.
Exposing children to different experiences not only expands their comprehension of the world that surrounds them, but also carries so much weight in terms of their appreciation of difference and diversity, and the development of cognitive capabilities.
Our beautiful farm offered so many sensory opportunities; the textures of the animal fur, the softness of the hens’ feathers, the dryness of the hay just to name a few. As the girls touched and discussed things, you could see them visibly relax as they processed the wealth of information and emotions they were experiencing in the open air.
Thank you to all the families who have contributed to the PTA events and sales that enabled us to gift this lovely treat to our girls.
I would also like to thank all of our parents for their unfailing support of the girls in their work, enrichment activities and in our charity initiatives, including the myriad of wonderful parents who have offered their knowledge and expertise to this spring’s events.
Your support helps builds that sense of community for our girls and helps them to understand that a connectedness to the world around us increases our well-being. I would also like to thank our superb Prep staff team who work tirelessly to create endlessly interesting and diverse learning opportunities for our girls. And lastly, I would like to thank the girls themselves – their spirited outlook, their positivity and their energy lifts every day in the Prep Department and makes this a truly unique place to work.