‘Of course it’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard. If it was easy everybody would do it. Hard is what makes it great!’

One of our Pre-Prep teachers, Becky Peirani, is running in the London Marathon this weekend for the first time. The above quote is from one of her mentors at her local running club.

For teachers, marathons offer an abundance of visual and metaphorical treats when discussing a concept such as commitment, which happens to be our character quality for April. It is perhaps the perfect relatable example of the process of fully engaging with a difficult task and seeing it through to the end. The kind of thing that makes for a great assembly, as it will do on Monday morning, when a tired, aching and exhausted Becky shares her journey with our young learners…

Becky will explain and demonstrate exactly what running a marathon involves, of what a long-term commitment looks like up close. The impact on day to day lifestyle, on family and friends, overcoming self-doubt and perhaps above all else – facing down the challenge of giving in or putting it off until next year – thoughts that must surely flash across the mind as the miles pass by on yet another lonely practice run in the cold, dark months of winter!

I will listen to her with enormous interest and admiration. I will also pay attention to the response she gets from our young learners. Of their understanding of commitment and how they feel her words relate to their everyday experiences, whether these are their motivation to improve their reading or times tables knowledge, the regular practise they put in to their piano lessons or our football teams, or, perhaps, to broader and more abstract endeavours such as their commitment to our friendship charter or our various environmental initiatives.  Becky’s tale of commitment is one that takes us to the very core of current educational thinking around the primacy of intrinsic motivation and resilience in nurturing a robust growth mindset. For ‘hard is what makes it great’ and we all have marathons to run.

Becky is running on behalf of the National Charity for Pregnancy. If you would like to know more about their work you can click here. If you would like to donate to her JustGiving page, please click here.

Mr Michael Williams

Head of Pre-Prep and Nursery School