Building resilience through having a go and trying your best… | Portsmouth High School

Building resilience through having a go and trying your best…

Last week our team (Amelia Evans, Olivia Fretwell, Emma Macey, Isobel Clark and Polly Williams) from Year 10 were overall first with their “most successful design” at the National Women in Engineering Day event sponsored by Qinetiq.

There were ten teams from neighbouring schools and the girls are to be congratulated on their success. The teams were tasked with designing a pulley system to get food down the mountains of Nepal and getting relief equipment up the mountain following the recent earthquakes using margarine tubs, sellotape, string and a small amount of Knex. Furthermore BAE systems gave an assembly to inspire girls of the many varied career options in engineering.

Last week was a busy week with two sports days, a GDST golf competition for junior girls and trips to London, France and Chichester, sailing competitions as well as participating in the cathedral as part of the opening service of the Portsmouth Festivities and drama shows and lectures.

A small group of sixth formers, Mrs Cresswell and myself visited a former PHS Headmistress, Mrs Schofield (Plowman when at PHS) at her home for tea. She was hoping that the girls would take advantage of being able to swim off the beach at the bottom of her garden but the weather was not that favourable and so we declined.

She entertained the girls with tales from her student days at Cambridge and about her teaching positions in Greece and India. Mrs Schofield took her tea in a mug with the slogan “who needs men when you’ve got chocolate?” which the girls found amusing if a little surprising for a woman of 84 years old. She is struggling with her short term memory but I couldn’t help but think that I hope I am as lively when I am her age.

All of the activities this week have once again reminded me of the resilience of our girls – they are prepared to have a go and try their best. Carol Dweck the psychologist, says we must stop praising children for the number of A*s but more for trying hard. She comments that children are too anxious about outcomes rather than enjoying life for the moment. Education psychologists are worried about the number of children who have anxiety problems at university and are unable to cope. Building resilience is important and by our girls entering competitions and taking the opportunities presented to them I hope that is what we are able to do at PHS.