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Welcoming Spring, Growth and New Beginnings

Published on 27/03/18

I popped my head into a colleague’s classroom recently and was asked to name my favourite animal; the class was discussing the characteristics of different animals and whether we as individuals identify with any particular species. Without thinking and purely as a reflex l replied, ‘Lambs’. Then of course I was asked to say why. Well, I have to admit that I’ve always liked lambs and even sheep!

Spotting lambs in fields, all fresh-white and woolly, with pink-lined ears and unthreatening faces, seeing them frisk carelessly around and hearing gentle harmless baas is always a cheery sign of spring. Of course to some it is the very defencelessness of lambs which means that they symbolise sacrifice. But to me lambs mean new life, springtime, fresh green fields, a hint of warmer and longer days, and maybe even a lovely summer’s day not being too far away.

Other signs of spring which I love are the greening of bare twigs, plant buds bursting into life, grass growing faster and thicker in parks, hedgerows and fields and of course the buzz of a lawnmower and the waft of barbecue smoke from a neighbouring garden.

In this country we are fortunate to be able to welcome four distinct but not extreme seasons. It is a real pleasure to notice minute changes as the seasons progress and to appreciate each period’s unique character. Here at Claremont Fan Court School we are blessed with amazing landscapes and it is important, although sometimes difficult during our busy school days, to be mindful of and really appreciate the scenery which surrounds us. Being conscious of small things, as well as the bigger picture, is something we may need to work at. Small things can bring joy. Small gestures can change an attitude; greeting or acknowledging someone, using their name, saying please and thank you, smiling and looking into someone’s eyes. These seemingly small things could change someone’s day, maybe even their life!

Language teachers like myself are very focused on small details; an accent, a capital letter, an extra letter at the end of a word; and we are even called pedantic! Paradoxically though, linguists are unabashed, brave even about making mistakes when it comes to having a go at speaking a new language. You can after all actually communicate even when making (sometimes comical) errors. Mistakes made by foreigners are often endearing, charming even.  And it is this attitude which teachers nurture at Claremont Fan Court School both inside and outside the classroom: have a go, make a mistake and learn from it but don’t hold back: if you hold back, you can’t go forward.

If New Year was a time for optimistic, sometimes over-optimistic resolutions, then spring is surely a time for fresh beginnings, new attitudes, a new appreciation of the small things in life. Enjoy the wonder of nature, smile and truly look at people, have a go at something challenging – and it might even make someone else smile.

Mrs J Bell
Assistant Head, Co-Curricular