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Principal's Blog

2022 Term 2


I have always found children in superhero costumes inspiring. When I see children in superhero costumes, I experience their desire for a better world, and their aspiration to be part of that change. In donning superhero costumes, they demonstrate their dream to be someone who helps.

The superhero child dreams of exhibiting their best self, the self that fights the good fight, of being a person who believes in – and defends – a set of qualities that includes honesty, truth, goodness and courage. When I encounter children with flashing capes and sparkling eyes, I am encouraged by their understanding that the job of the superhero is to help wherever they can, and, through giving assistance, improve and better the day of those they encounter.

I’d like to live in a world where all of us are our superhero selves every day.

In thinking about the superhero selves of our children and my vocation as an educator, I see that I have a role in keeping our children’s superhero selves alive; in preserving their belief that they can make a difference. I understand my work as building a school culture that supports this deep-set desire that we all once possessed to be good and do good.

The superhero persona of the child faces three serious threats: negativity, coddling and spoiling. Negativity sucks belief and hope; coddling teaches the child that they, rather than being an able contributor, are in fact in need to protection and support; while spoiling raises a child where it is all about them. I aspire to be part of a lived experience of childhood where an adventurous, helpful superhero is nurtured.

This, for me, is where the heart of education lies. What is school for if it does not aspire to grow a set of traits and characteristics that empower? The education experience will, of course, be associated with specific skills in each epoch – sword play or writing, dancing or science – but the fundamentally mission would appear to be the transmission of a set of beliefs and qualities that see the child emerge with an understanding in their ability to effect change.

A belief and understanding that you can effect change sounds like the mindset of the superhero. The specific qualities of the superhero include courage, compassion and determination. These qualities, by their very nature, acknowledge that there will be difficulties. There will be bruises, setbacks and hurdles, but the superhero does not consider these as a reason to give up. Obstacles are part of the journey; worth is measured by the intended goal; and persistence is a requirement.

In thinking about leading a primary school, my hope is to find and preserve the spark of the superhero in each child – and to graduate young people who not only know that they can make a difference – but believe that they should.

In terms of the school day, one expectation we hold as a staff is that each and every child has the ability and duty to make things just a bit better. The question we ask from time to time is what have you done to make things a bit better? This question keeps alive the notion of helpfulness – that helping is a natural daily occurrence.

So, if in doubt, send your children to school in costumes and capes, and share your expectation that they should embrace their superhero selves, and that all of our lives will be better for it.

Timothy Berryman (Principal)

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