Friday, 13 December 2013

Time for Reflection.

 Boys being boys!
End of Year Reflection
At the end of each year I deliver a prize-giving speech. It is a great chance for reflection and to deliver some key thoughts about what we should be focussing on in the future. I have printed most of the speech below.
The fundamental highlight is the tone and culture of the school year. The boys have been excellent and most have achieved personal bests. The staff has given their all to support the boys.  Our long awaited school hall/gym/Chapel is well underway. However bricks and mortar and wonderful facilities do not make a high performing school. In May we had the Education Review Office spend three days with us assessing how Wellesley stood up to their well-honed national  benchmark criteria for schools and we were delighted with their critique.
Not long after receiving the ERO review I attended the annual Independent Schools’ conference where I heard two speakers that made me reflect on our ERO assessment.
We often talk to the boys about personal bests, and the habits of resilience, perseverance, and controlling our impulsivity. One of the speakers spoke about the importance of building up the ‘grit’ factor in children. I like that word ‘grit’! It’s a small word but it packs a punch and says a lot. The Outward Bound founder, Kurt Hahn’s quote of ‘we are all better than we know’ is so true!
Author Jocelyn Glei  wrote an interesting article arguing  ‘grit is more important than talent’!  (The Future of Self-Improvement, Part1: Grit Is More Important Than Talent)  She recounts that, “In the late ’60s, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel performed a now-iconic experiment called the Marshmallow Test, which analyzed the ability of four year olds to exhibit “delayed gratification.” Each child was brought into the room and sat down at a table with a delicious treat on it (maybe a marshmallow, maybe a donut). The scientists told the children that they could have a treat now, or, if they waited 15 minutes, they could have two treats.
All of the children wanted to wait. (Who doesn’t want more treats?) But many couldn’t. After just a few minutes or less, their resolve would break down and they would eat the marshmallow. But some children were better at delaying gratification: They were able to hold out for the full 15 minutes.
When the researchers subsequently checked in on these same children in high school, it turned out that those with more self-control — that is, those who held out for 15 minutes — were better behaved, less prone to addiction, and scored higher on the SAT.”
The children who were able to hang out and not succumb to the temptation used all sorts of strategies to deflect their temptation such as singing to themselves or covering their eyes. To use the vernacular, ‘they guts’d it out’ anyway they could so they could have the bigger prize at the end.
Since time began, we’ve all known that talent will only get you so far. The old Aesop’s fable of the hare and the tortoise is an often told story that powerfully sums up all this up. The hare knew he could win the race in a canter and chose to have a bit of a lie down on the way. Meanwhile the gritty and steady determination of the tortoise saw her win the race.
It has been found through research that there is a strong link between grit and a growth mindset. Those people who have a more optimistic view of the world have a tendency to sustain effort towards their goals. (True Grit-Association for Psychological Science by Angela Lee Duckworth and Lauren Eskreis-Winkler)
Having ‘true grit’ is only part of the story. As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Dr Tony Fernando is a consultant psychiatrist and senior lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Auckland. He also spoke at the conference I referred to earlier. He works with many of the top students that come out of secondary school. He told us most of them are keen learners, energetic, enthusiastic, reliable and driven to do well and what else could a teacher ask for? However despite being gifted intellectually and a willingness to work hard, a fair number of Dr Fernando’s students suffer from depression, anxiety, perfectionism, drug abuse, a lack of self-compassion and generally are not happy. They have the grit but not the balance! He effectively argued that you can work hard but if you can’t take some joy from it and view your life through a more positive lens then life can be tough.
Dr Fernando talked about ‘Mindfulness’ and the importance of optimism.
He described mindfulness as a state of active, open attention on the present. When you are being mindful you are actively living in the moment and not allowing life to pass you by as you are distracted by negative thoughts, worries or things that need to be done. (I could learn a lot by this advice) It’s finding time in our busy world to have some ‘stillness and silence’ to bring us back to our calm essence.  It’s about dealing with life’s conflicts and challenges in a calm manner, avoiding habitual responses when life doesn’t go our way. It’s about perspective and the acknowledgement of the simple pleasures of life including laughter.  It’s about being a compassionate person to yourself and to others. And it is definitely about being non-judgemental, kind, optimistic and being grateful.
This concept of gratitude was particularly promoted and Dr Fernando encouraged all his students to keep a gratitude diary where each day they would find 5-10 minutes quiet time to write down things they were happy or grateful for. He said the discipline of this can be powerful in training our minds to be positive. It’s akin to saying prayers of gratitude that some families practice each evening. Even saying grace before a meal makes us stop and be grateful. ‘For what we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly grateful’ Now your Lord may be different from my Lord but that doesn’t matter, we are stopping to be grateful.
I was taken by these two themes of grit and mindfulness as they are important ‘work in progress’ aspects of Wellesley but yet we have not labelled them as such. There is a culture at Wellesley where it is cool to learn and to do your personal best. The culture is strong and the tide carries it in. Of course, individuals can wax and wane and after considerable effort and commitment, the occasional boy will ‘slip and slide’ but the big picture is extremely positive.
When we read the ERO report we were delighted to see commentary that supported everything we are trying to achieve with the boys. In summary the report said there is a climate at Wellesley whereby boys are nurtured to be resilient and self-motivated learners and that the modelling of respect, loyalty and integrity by students and staff is highly apparent.
The report praised the school for providing ‘high quality teaching’ and for having ‘high expectations  for  learning  and behaviour’.  That Wellesley’s ‘vision is to promote intellectual curiosity and creativity’.
That Wellesley is future focused and the team work in close  partnership  to promote continuous improvement. Special mention was made of the very evident learning community and the high priority  given to professional learning.

Wellesley is in very good heart and we believe that we have a good weighting of grit and mindfulness to ensure it goes into its second century in excellent shape.
I want to thank all our staff, teaching and non-teaching for working together to create an environment where it is not good enough to lean on the past but strive for continuous improvement.

Friday, 1 November 2013


I have had a number of discussions with parents about Minecraft. Some parents have concerns about the addictive nature of this game. They see the good aspects but do not like seeing their son’s drawn to it at every opportunity. Occasionally I get emails like the one below. (I have changed the name of the family)

Hi Warren

Greg gets emails about Bubbledome courses, and the latest one had a link to an interesting article (below)about a teacher who used the game Minecraft (a huge favourite with my boys and lots of their friends) as part of a school project. I thought you might find it interesting.

I assume you have seen Minecraft? Must admit, of all the games for my boys to be obsessed with it's really good. Lots to learn and create with it, and Greg seems to get quite a bit out of it socially too, interacting with new people.
Kind regards,


It seems to me that Minecraft is a digital wave that we can either manage and use to get the greatest good or try and fight off because of its addictive lure for children.

The magazine Interface is possibly the leading NZ journal for teachers supporting the use of ICT in learning. Certainly our staff all get to read this magazine. In a relatively recent publication of  Interface, the cover story headline was ‘Going Mad for Minecraft—Should you be using this simple building game in your classroom?’ (Issue 50 Term 3 Sept. 2013)

The short story is it is being used extensively in and out of classrooms (40 million users at last count) and it lends itself to a variety of learning uses engaging all aspects of the curriculum. Over and above inputs into  maths or other subject areas, Minecraft  fosters creativity and problem solving. “The mere mention of the word (minecraft) will have your students babbling on happily about redstone and spawn points, mobs and mods, skins…….. But here’s the thing. Before you know it, they will be sitting up straight, paying attention and working their butts off.” (p24 Interface (Issue 50 Term 3 Sept. 2013) Use the link

As a Principal I am incredibly aware of the need for balance in children’s lives. We love the outdoors and promote ‘mindfulness’, nature and getting enjoyment from the simple things in life. However we also see the tremendous opportunities and skill building the tools of e Learning provide. The 21stC student leaving school any time soon will need an array of skills such as creativity, problem solving, entrepreneurship and teamwork. The work force is screaming for people with strong IT skills supported by these skills just listed.

The big challenge for us as teachers and for parents is setting the scene to ensure young people are getting ‘balance’ in their lives. Part of this challenge is educating children in the art of self-discipline but until that ‘kicks in’ so individuals are ‘self-aware’ and autonomous, then we as adults have to take an active managing role. At times that will mean ‘tough love’, rules and consequences.

We recommend you find out as much about your child’s world so they see you have some sort of understanding of the benefits of things like ‘Minecraft’. In that way at least they can see you are informed and not just ‘bagging’ their passion out of ignorance. Give them adequate screen time but insist on down time, fresh air and contributing to the household team effort.
I came across the below site: Children On-Line---Devoted to the safety of children and teens online. (see what you think)

“Is Minecraft the Next Parental Concern? Have you heard about Minecraft? It is very likely that your children have even though the full PC version of the game only came out in late 2011 and the Xbox version came out
this past May. The game has skyrocketed in popularity with children from ages seven to young teens. Minecraft is a creative video game in which participants build things out of textured cubes in a 3D-like world. There are several versions and types of game play and to quote Wikipedia, the primary goal of play in survival mode is "to build a shelter to survive attacks by hostile mobs…….read on via the link.

All of the above is a bit of ‘rave’ and not particularly well structured but hopefully it may be of some use.


Sunday, 29 September 2013


Higher Order Thinking in Art

This term our whole school undertook an inquiry study around the provocative question, ‘Nature is our Greatest Teacher’. The boys became engrossed in the many sub questions and discussions with all classes completing their own age and stage studies.

The study culminated in a three day (from 11am to 2.30pm) visual arts celebration where the boys in cross age electives chose their medium for expression and then set out to show their thinking via the art form they had chosen.  Over and above the teaching staff we were able to engage a few parents and other guest facilitators who helped ensure the size of the groups were ideal for this endeavour.

I can’t overestimate the value of this time. The quality of the art was outstanding but more importantly, the quality of the boys’ discussions and thinking was heart-warming to watch and hear. Our artist in residence was ‘blown away’ by the boys’ questions, curiosity and their ability to engage in meaningful dialogue.

After the work was hung for the exhibition it was a joy to watch the boys view the range of art on display and take a deep interest in others’ work. Our school visitors such as grandparents and friends were delighted with what they saw and went away happy in the knowledge their grandchildren were in a school that appreciated higher order thinking and had high expectations around personal bests.

Wellesley is truly a ‘home for the mind’. Art Costa who developed the ‘Habits of the Mind’ used this expression (home for the mind). It captures so much of what we stand for as we strive to engage our boys in this quest of being curious and willing to engage in ‘hard fun’ no matter whether it is art, maths or any other curriculum area. This approach to education is now part and parcel of the culture of Wellesley. The boys’ academic outcomes are the ‘proof of the pudding’ but more importantly it is a joy to see these young boys go off to secondary school and beyond to achieve their potential in whatever fields they choose and in a position to positively contribute to society.

What more could we ask for!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Life’s Challenges--Staying Positive and Philosophical.

At a recent conference I heard psychologist Dr Fernando from Auckland University talk about ‘Mindfulness’.

He described mindfulness as a state of active, open attention on the present. When you are being mindful you are actively living in the moment and not allowing life to pass you by as you are distracted by negative thoughts, worries or things that need to be done. It’s finding time in our busy world to have some ‘stillness and silence’ to bring us back to our calm essence.  It’s about dealing with life’s conflicts and challenges in a calm manner, avoiding habitual responses when life doesn’t go our way. It’s about perspective and the acknowledgement of the simple pleasures of life including laughter.  It’s about being a compassionate person to yourself and to others and it is definitely about being non-judgemental, kind, optimistic and being grateful.

This concept of gratitude was particularly promoted and Dr Fernando encouraged all his students to keep a gratitude diary where each day they would find 5-10 minutes quiet time to write down things they were happy or grateful for. He said the discipline of this can be powerful in training our minds to be positive. It’s akin to saying prayers of gratitude that some families practice each evening. Even saying grace before a meal makes us stop and be grateful. ‘For what we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly grateful’. Your Lord (God) may be different from my Lord (God), but your religious belief doesn’t matter here, we are stopping to be grateful.


I was taken by this theme of mindfulness as they are important aspects of Wellesley but yet we have not labelled them as such. We are certainly promoting these important aspects of emotional intelligence as they are powerful tools in anyone’s life.

A few weeks ago I was taken by an article in the DomPost in the Health and Wellbeing section entitled, “How Socrates saved my life.” I have included part of the article below. These coping strategies are powerful for adults but I also believe that age appropriately, we can empower children with some of them by fostering the key messages.


Accept the limit of your control

Over externals The Stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote:

“Some things are up to us, others are not.”  We don’t have complete control over externals, despite our best efforts, but we do have control over our thoughts and beliefs – so concentrate your energy there. 

Focus on the present moment

Seneca, another Stoic wrote:

“What is the point of dragging up sufferings that are over, of being miserable now, because you were miserable then?  We can go through life walking backwards, constantly ruminating on past injuries or on how things were better in the past.  Likewise, we can worry endlessly about the future.  Or we can simply choose to make the most of the present.

We are what we repeatedly do

The key to the good life is good habits.  Memorise certain maxims and see every situation as an opportunity for training.

Contemplate the universe

If ancient philosophers were particularly stressed, they would find a quiet place and imagine the vast expanse of the universe.  At such times the Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius told himself:  “Many of the anxieties that harass you are superfluous …..Expand into an ampler region, letting your thought sweep over the entire universe.

Let love lift you up

Plato claimed that the secret to philosophy was learning to love.  He believed we could lift ourselves out of egotism by passionately loving other people, or beauty, or goodness and through love we could even connect to God.          

You might not agree with, or relate to, all of the above, but I hope it got you thinking.

The concept of Mindfulness is very broad and could include meditation or similar. Mental resilience can be likened to being physically fit. The fitter you are both mentally and physically (and there is a synergy there) the more likely you will be to handle the stresses and strains of life. If we can foster these skills and attitudes with our children, they will have them for life. This sounds very ‘new age’ but it doesn’t have to be a ‘big deal’ but just a quiet and normal part of learning and living a positive life.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Modern Learning Environments


There is a reasonable amount of hype in the education community around the subject of modern learning environment or MLEs.

Mark Osborne has written a good summary which is worth a quick read.

To accommodate and facilitate a best practice 21stC learning culture and pedagogy, learning areas need to have space and flexibility to cater for individualised and collaborative learning as well as large group or class presentations. Learning resources, such as technology, need ready access and ease of storage.

Wellesley is in a fortunate position having the whole school rebuilt over the last 10-12 years with our school hall/gym being the last facility to be completed. The design brief was driven by the learning needs of 21stC learners. Our learning areas are all built over code so there is plenty of open space adding to the teachers’ flexibility in implementing and facilitating the curriculum. If needed, most classrooms can accommodate two classes of children for activities such as meetings and presentations. We have break out spaces between classrooms which are ideal for collaborative learning, or small group teaching. These same spaces allow for individuals to pursue their inquiry studies, practise speeches, model making, cooking etc

Throw in the mix, large specialist areas for the visual arts, music, drama, dance, science, technology, learning support including GATE programmes and our students are well supported. Last year we opened an incredible resource, our new library. This is a stunning, stunning learning area and we are all enjoying it immensely. The small auditorium attached is adding great value.

Having large open playgrounds is a treat at the best of times but we are spoiled with the sea at our front door and the bush at our back door. In between are large fields, courts, creeks and a storybook dell where I am sure angels come to play at night.

As Mark Osborne says, “Working in an open, flexible learning environment where inquiries are shared, interventions devised collaboratively and reflections based on both self and peer observations, leads to a more robust, continuously improving community of practice.”

We are very, very lucky with our MLE but, at the end of the day, give me a committed and talented team of teachers to work with in a tent over mediocre teaching in fine facilities. Fortunately we have the former and solid pedagogy, passion and commitment will win out every time. It’s just nice to support our teachers with current and relevant resources.

Lastly enjoy this TV 3 clip on MLEs.


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Helicopter Parenting

Charity Mid Winter Swim
Helicopter parenting! Have you heard the term? I am reluctant to write about this concept as I know it will sound righteous and possibly induce thoughts of,  ‘he thinks he knows it all’ and ‘he’s always on about this’!
Well, I don’t mean to sound righteous and I certainly don’t know it all but I have made plenty of mistakes as a parent and after a long teaching career, observed what works with regard to parenting and what doesn’t.

The term ‘helicopter parenting’ is about being overly involved in your children’s lives. That is, always ‘hovering’ and finding it difficult to allow your children to take age and stage appropriate risks and deal with life’s ups and downs without trying to ‘save’ them from life’s disappointments and challenges.

I have to acknowledge it is sometimes difficult to know when to stand back and when to step in to try and help your children. A classic example is when a child misses out on something which is competitively selected such as a school team. It is normal as a parent to deeply feel your child’s disappointment but rightly or wrongly, you have two choices at this stage.
Firstly to step in and allow your child to see you question the process or even suggest that s(he) is actually better than some of the children who won selection. In this case, if the child does eventually make the team, his/her self-esteem is likely to have been compromised with a prickle of doubt that (s)he is there on merit versus mum or dad’s persuasive skills.
The other choice is to take time to show your child that you understand his/her disappointment and sympathise accordingly but also encourage them not to give up, to keep trying hard to show the coaches that they are keen and capable so when an opportunity through sickness or injury comes about, they will be considered again.
In Time Magazine’s ‘Health and Family Matters’, Bonnie Rochman(*) wrote an article called, ‘Hover no more: Helicopter Parents May Breed Depression and Incompetence In Their Children’.
This article highlights that ‘helicopter parenting’ can be a problem even in young adults’ lives. Bonnie refers to a study in the Journal of Child and Family Studies which summarises the findings of a survey of  297 university age students. According to the study (and this supports my observations), the more parents cross the line and get too involved with their children, the more they risk stealing a child’s opportunity to reach their potential. On one hand we have to be a supportive mentor and model, yet know when to step back and when to step forward to offer advice and intervene. 
Holly Sciffrin, lead author of the study and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington, is quoted as saying, “Parents are sending an unintentional message to their children that they are not competent. When adult children don’t get to practice problem-solving skills, they can’t solve these problems in the future.”
 “These parents have the best intentions,” says Schiffrin. “They are being involved to help their child be successful. But as we know from the previous study, that high level of involvement is stressful for parents and it is not benefiting the kids. It’s actually harming them.”
Parenting is such a tough job and at times can be very confusing to know what to do. It is so often a fine line we walk. Some of the best parenting advice I have seen is from D.A. Hutcheson, Head of Nightingale-Bamford School in NY city. She said,
“Life can often be a struggle, and mostly we don’t enjoy that struggle. Yet life would be dull without it. As a parent myself, I don’t like seeing my children struggle but it is in that struggle where children learn the most. Really, as much as possible we should let our children negotiate the bumps and ups and downs of school themselves, rather than sweeping in to negotiate it all for them. That’s the best gift we can give our children----so when we are not around, they can be successful on their own.” 
Sound advice in my view!

* Bonnie Rochman writes about pregnancy, fertility, parenting — the ups and downs of being    a kid and having one — for TIME.



Monday, 10 June 2013

Children seem to have a natural love for the rhythm and rhyme of poetry. This usually begins with their first exposure to nursery rhymes and stories.
I’m a great advocate of sharing poetry with children for all sorts of reasons. Not least, because poetry can be fun and an easy connection with a young child. Poetry is a great starting point for discussion and right from a young age you can engage children in higher order thinking. Discussion around single words or phrases and of course, the poem as an entity is an obvious starting point.
Children enjoy being encouraged to look ‘behind the words’ for subtle meaning (s) and this not only adds to the experience but  opens a lifelong interest and ability to dismantle text of all forms.  
Someone once said poetry is ‘the best words in the best order’.  Children learn quickly there are no rules for poetry and this boosts their confidence to express their own thinking via poetry. As children learn more about imagery, personification, onomatopoeia and the many other poetic devices their literary confidence grows.  Poetry is a powerful way of increasing children’s love of language.
I would encourage all families to have poetry books in the house and share favourites with the children. Make poetry part of the mix of bedtime reading rituals.
I have enclosed below two poems. For older children, Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ is an all-time classic and provides sage advice for us all. For some people this poem is an anchor in that they often return to it to give them strength.
The other poem is 'Forgiven' by A.A. Milne.  This poem is for younger children. It has an appealing and strong storyline and the rhythm and rhyme is endearing. There are so many wonderful poetry books available but one of my favourites is Michael Rosen's, "The Kingfisher Book of Poetry".  Do enjoy!

I found a little beetle, so that beetle was his name,
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a matchbox, and I kept him all the day...
And Nanny let my beetle out
Yes, Nanny let my beetle out
She went and let my beetle out-
And beetle ran away.

She said she didn't mean it, and I never said she did,
She said she wanted matches, and she just took off the lid
She said that she was sorry, but it's difficult to catch
An excited sort of beetle you've mistaken for a match.

She said that she was sorry, and I really mustn't mind
As there's lots and lots of beetles which she's certain we could find
If we looked about the garden for the holes where beetles hid-
And we'd get another matchbox, and write BEETLE on the lid.

We went to all the places which a beetle might be near,
And we made the sort of noises which a beetle likes to hear,
And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort of shout:
"A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming out!"

It was Alexander Beetle I'm as certain as can be
And he had a sort of look as if he thought it might be ME,
And he had a kind of look as if he thought he ought to say:
"I'm very, very sorry that I tried to run away."

And Nanny's very sorry too, for you know what she did,
And she's writing ALEXANDER very blackly on the lid,
So Nan and me are friends, because it's difficult to catch
An excited Alexander you've mistaken for a match.


If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Monday, 20 May 2013

'How To Escape Education's Death Valley and National Standards.'

Body, Mind and Spirit-education has be approached holistically.

Sir Ken Robinson: 'How to Escape Education's Death Valley'.

National Standards
We are finding some schools and/or individual teachers use varying approaches and expectations around national standards. This is not a criticism of other schools but more about the reality of interpretation as there can be a reasonable level of teacher subjectivity going into decision making around national standards unless there are robust in-school and between schools moderation processes in place. I could talk on the issues around national standards at length but for now, let me say that used well, they provide a good 'snapshot' of where individual children are at in their learning at that particular point in time. The downside of course is that they can be an absolute nonsense if not used well.

On a cautionary note, we all (parents and teachers) have to be very careful not to place too much focus on the national standard outcomes that the child's confidence and self-belief is knocked as they get subtle or not so subtle messages that they are not up to standard! Learning is very developmental and as emphasised in the above link ('How to Escape Education's Death Valley'), a broader view of learning has to be embraced.

Often when a child is having difficulty with a concept or range of complex concepts, no amount of pressure or magic can be used to instantly transform that child to where we want him to be. 

After saying that, there are key concepts that all children need and thus we must quietly support and use professional expertise to boost the child's engagement, confidence and understanding. Sometimes considerable focus, expertise and work can go into helping a child but the 'penny doesn't drop' immediately. This can be for a number of reasons such as a processing issue or a readiness (developmental) reason. However all that work and energy is not wasted as the child is incrementally being supported to develop his skills. Probably the most important point I can make here, is that if you give children this support, be patient and encouraging, have high and realistic expectations, then success is guaranteed. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow but in due course the boys wil blossom. Sometimes, particularly with boys, you have to 'hang in there' with the encouragement as they can blossom late. As someone once said, boys are like popcorn, some pop earlier than others.

Yong Zhao  summed it all up as he described boys’ learning as like cooking popcorn—some pop early, some pop late. Our job is to retain and build their spirit.   (Chinese Education Professor working in the USA)

Amongst many other things, ERO in their draft report have said that teaching quality at Wellesley is high and the 'students are achieving highly'. I look forward to sharing more of this with you soon.