Mr Paul Norman, Deputy Head Academic
I joined The Royal School three years ago as Director of Sixth Form and started my new role as Deputy Head Academic this September.
One of the greatest privileges of working in Education is to witness the ‘light bulb, penny-drop, I can’t believe I just did that’ moments on a pupil’s face when they do something they weren’t sure was possible. Whether that is understanding a concept in electricity, performing on stage in a music or drama production, or coming off the playing field following a sports match. The glint in their eye and smile on their face is priceless.
These moments serve to remind us of the importance of setting meaningful and achievable challenges for all pupils. While confusion and frustration are often a part of learning, those breakthrough experiences of success reinforce and galvanise the concepts of confidence and perseverance. They lead not only to a pupil doing the best academically but also build habits that are of benefit in all areas of life.
‘Education doesn’t exist in a vacuum’ was a phrase used frequently by my first Headteacher, and she was right. Lessons learnt in school now about how we learn and what it takes to achieve a goal, go beyond objectives on a board in the classroom. They are just as important and complimentary in influencing a pupil’s ambitions and options when applying to university or jobs when they leave school.
Working with colleagues, pupils and parents to find the best possible methods of providing the highest quality curriculum delivery possible is busy, yet hugely rewarding. The Royal School community is wonderfully supportive, adaptable, and always finds ways to recognise and celebrate success. I look forward to seeing the evolution of online provision - we have just enjoyed our first virtual parents’ evening and have more planned. These are an excellent opportunity for parents and teachers to discuss the progress being made by pupils, and how we can work towards those next all important lightbulb moments in their education.