Strolling through the Westonbirt grounds last week, I spotted a lone snowdrop pushing its way through a carpet of undergrowth. This snowdrop has resonated with my thoughts over these last few days, as staff and pupils prepare to return to the classroom, and parents find out if children have been allocated their first-place choice of secondary school.
The snowdrop has always represented spring and the hope of warmer days to come. We can all take inspiration from the battle this delicate plant annually fights, and wins, to push its way through the frosty earth as the simplicity of the flower presents, regardless of obstacles in its way.
Hopefully families across the country will be delighted with the school allocated to their young bud this week, but for those who have not got what they want, a lesson in coping with disappointment may actually prove a valuable opportunity for growth. We all want to protect our young from the pain of failure, but research has shown that setbacks can benefit a child’s development, helping foster characteristics that facilitate success, whilst building resilience and encouraging creative thinking.
At Westonbirt, we empower boys and girls to blossom emotionally as well as academically. Building resilience and the confidence to take healthy risks within the landscape of a nurturing environment. Students are taught to be reflective and to understand that failure can prove crucial in the path to success and that there is value in overcoming disappointment and being shaped by it.
Significant growth in demand at Westonbirt indicates parents increasingly appreciate that a greenhouse, not a hot house, is the optimum environment for children to flourish. So whatever result reaches your inbox on allocation day, take heed that the snowdrop flowers all the more beautifully for overcoming the obstacles in its way.