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As we enter the second month of 2016 we spent time in assembly this morning considering how well we were doing in keeping the resolutions we set ourselves a whole month ago. As was to be expected a few were still going strong, a few were yet to get started and a significant number had largely forgotten what they had resolved to do. I am no exception in that my resolution to commit to more guitar practice has not really panned out in the way I had envisaged as it has been a pretty poor effort so far. We then spent time thinking about the things we were already good at which are mostly the things we regularly enjoy doing as well as those things we do not consider ourselves very good at and so don’t often participate in.

All of this reflection led me into telling a wonderful story I recently stumbled across – ‘The Gordon Star’ by Rebecca Patterson and Mary Rees. It tells the story of a messy, cheerful young boy (Gordon) who never earns a coveted gold star in class. This eventually leads to him declaring he is ‘rubbish’ at everything and becoming rather less cheerful. Thankfully his class friends have noticed how good he is at being kind, helpful, funny, and above all, good at cheering people up. This in turn leads his teacher to awarding him his very first gold star and resolve to give a gold star out every day to someone who is just like Gordon which would be called, ‘The Gordon Star’.

As a teacher, I fell in love with this story for many different reasons, from identifying with the different characters to making me think about all the ‘Gordons’ we have in Pre-Prep. It is wonderful we have so many talented children in Pre-Prep who shine in their academic work, on the sports field, in the music arena and in drama, but we agreed that it is equally, if not more important to be like Gordon. I am certainly hopeful that I shall be awarding some of my own ‘Gordon Stars’ in celebration assembly on Friday.

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