Reflections and Growth Mindset

House Order has become a time for us to share our wisdom and experience with your daughters. My first House Order this term focussed on reflection – what worked well in the Autumn Term, what did not go well and what can we do to improve. Recently the Upper Fifth received their Mock results, and I was very proud of their progress. I have always viewed mock exams as incredibly beneficial – it is part of the challenge, and part of the journey that will help pupils achieve future success. It gives pupils the opportunity to complete some early revision, practise effective revision strategies, improve their knowledge and gain experience in working under pressure. Mock exams act as a guide as to how we move forward and in line with the theme of our House Order, they should be used as a reflective exercise to make improvements, the focus should not be on the result.

Some of the other themes which we have been focusing upon have been ‘think big, dream big’, ‘fixed mindset vs growth mindset’, and resilience. Carol Dweck says that it is not intelligence, talent or education that sets successful people apart. It is their mindset and the way that they approach life’s challenges. A ‘fixed mindset’ can hold you back whilst a ‘growth mindset’ can help you to reach your goals. I have encouraged the girls to be more open to learning and less worried about failing, everybody makes mistakes. We need to learn from our failures.

Barry pupils are thriving and they are making the most of the opportunities available to them both in House and in School.

Morade, co-chair of the African Society was instrumental in setting up a number of activities at Societies Sunday. Evie and Tilly led the Wellbeing House Activities and recently the House came together to celebrate Lunar New Year. I hope you enjoy reading more about each of these events.

African Society on Societies Sunday

On Societies Sunday, African Society held three different events. African Mask Making, African drumming and bracelet making, hair braiding and a Jollof Rice tasting stall in AMS. The aim of these three events was to zoom in on different aspects of African culture. In Africa, expressive masks are made and worn while dancing to effectively portray stories through dance, causing these performances to be more captivating and profound. Being able to have a workshop was something to be very thankful for, as we were able to bring a certain aspect of African culture for people at Wycombe to experience!

The African drumming was also an enriching workshop to have taken part in, as in Africa, drums were used across various countries to pass stories and folklore from generation to generation. They are also used to create a beat for the dancers, and oftentimes the drummers sing along with beat, adding more depth, and a relaxing, welcoming feeling to the performances. This was once again something we as a society are very thankful that we were able to bring this to Wycombe for many people to experience.

And finally, the bracelet making, hair braiding and jollof rice tasting. A lot of people think that Jollof Rice is a dish special to Nigeria, which is quite untrue. Jollof Rice is a dish that is shared across the majority of African countries. The recipe varies from country to country, but one of the main characteristics of this dish is shared no matter where it is made: its deep orange colour, which makes it recognisable and causes it to stand out amongst other rice dishes.

The hair braiding was also a portrayal of just another amazing aspect of cultures all over Africa. Hair braiding can be seen all over the world, but in Africa, it is something deeply entrenched in almost every African country’s culture, with so many beautiful patterns being able to be made in hair that creates a multitude of unique styles.  Ranging from cornrows to single braids with beads at the bottom of them, hair braiding is something that anyone, not just Africans can take pride in and enjoy being a part of the process.

Bracelet making is something that many are familiar with. People enjoy being able to make jewellery and take pride in having something beautiful to adorn their wrists. The beads were brought from Lagos, Nigeria, for anybody to see and use, with many people leaving with a physical gift to remind them of the time that they spent at African Society.

                                                                                                            Morade (LV)

Lunar New Year

On Tuesday 31 January, we celebrated Lunar New Year in Barry as a community. It was a great opportunity to bond with girls in other year groups, and also to learn about Chinese culture and traditions.

We were lucky enough to have had parents come over and prepare some delicious dishes such as dumplings, stir-fry, custard buns and bao buns. The traditional food gave non-Chinese pupils the chance to try something new and allowed the Chinese pupils to come together as a community and share their culture. On top of the food, we also received traditional red packets with gifts inside of them and learnt that in Chinese culture, these are a blessing for good fortune.

Hearing from Chinese pupils about the way in which they celebrate the New Year back home was an enlightening experience and a very memorable night. We hope to be able to explore other cultures similarly in the future.

                                                                                                Gloria and Ana (UV)

Wellbeing Week

Wellbeing refers to a state of being healthy, happy, and comfortable, both physically and mentally. Evie, the Head of House set up a wonderful schedule of wellbeing activities for the week. We all appreciated using this very significant week to unwind and relax. With crossword puzzles, colouring, listening to calming music, playing Mario Cart, and the revival of the book club, we got the week off to a great start. Many of us have been missing the weekly reading sessions; this was an amazing opportunity to get back to it. On Wednesday we had tea and biscuits in the living room and had good conversations with the older girls which were extremely calming and made the whole House feel so much more connected. We ended the week with a spa night complete with face masks, more biscuits (Jaffa Cakes Galore), and meditation (led by Tilly). Everyone joined in with a fun (albeit quiet) game of sleeping lions. The activities brought the House together, making the different year groups feel closer together, giving us a break from prep, and creating a sense of community and happiness.

                                                                                                            Eva (UIV)

I would like to end by saying – resilience is not always about bouncing back but about bouncing forward. Enjoy Long Leave with your daughters.