Principal’s Blog, Friday 14th December 2018, In Pursuit of Excellence

At Hazeley we work hard to ensure that we invest in linking with other people and organisations. One such organisations is PiXL (Partners in Excellence), many of the strategies we use to help ensure that all of our students make good academic progress originated from this partnership. This weeks blog is unashamedly adapted (as are most good ideas) from Sir John Rowling who is one of the founders of PiXL, I hope that you enjoy it as much as me and I also hope that you agree that despite Sir John never visiting us, it feels very Hazeley. 

“There are plenty of ideas on what creates excellence but I was struck by one I read recently posted by an Indian Professor, K. Srinam.

Excellence can be obtained if you:
Care more than others think is wise;
Risk more than others think is safe;
Dream more than others think is practical;
Expect more than others think is possible.

Caring seems to me to be the heart of what as parents /educators. Theodore Roosevelt is credited with saying first that ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ Benjamin Franklin, regarded still as a Founding Father of the United States, put it another way, ‘Want of care does more damage than want of knowledge.’  Sometimes others think the level and intensity of our caring unwise, for sure, because it costs and might be taken advantage of. It takes courage to care and, equally, ‘from caring comes courage,’ attributed to Lao Tsu.

These days we are deterred from taking risks. We have risk assessments, and nothing wrong with that, yet safety first and risk aversion are not likely to create inspiration or success. Mark Zuckerberg put it this way, ‘The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy test that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.’ Calculate risk certainly but taking initiative and action, where others may not, may well bring success that others may never see.

As for dreaming, T E Lawrence commented, ‘All people dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous people for they may then enact their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.’ Many of the great landmark events of history started life as dreams. Martin Luther King’s for one, ‘I have a dream…’ Dream on! But let us be bold enough to enact the dream. Execution, we call it: make it happen.

‘When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece,’ said John Ruskin. When I look at many of the parents/ leaders I know pursuing their calling in homes/ schools across the land I see deep care, call it love if you want, and enormous skill. They are producing masterpieces not all yet discovered! 

Sir John Rowling