“We have to decide now: Do we value attention and focus? Does being able to think deeply matter to us? Do we want it for our children? If we do, then we have to fight for it.” – Johann Hari
I’m busily preparing for next week’s Parent Education Supper Book club session, focusing on Johann Hari’s thought-provoking book, Stolen Focus – Why You Can’t Pay Attention. Ironically, I’m finding it difficult to focus; the emails are pinging, the deadline for the Newsletter looms and there’s a long list of to-do’s on my weekly planner. In the past, I liked to blame all manner of things for my procrastination: a lack of time; my preference to prioritise tasks I really enjoy; my tendency to be sucked into the vortex of the infinite scroll on my social media. After reading Stolen Focus, I’m persuaded that there are far more powerful and systemic factors at play in eroding my ability to concentrate, beyond my own personal shortcomings. The same is true, of course, for our children. They too find it hard to focus and pay attention, and increasingly so. The session next Tuesday evening will provide an opportunity for parents and carers to explore the current challenges and consider strategies for supporting themselves and their children to claim back concentration. There are a few places left for this event. Register here.
Over recent weeks, two very special community events, involving a raft of parent volunteers have nurtured our love for appreciating artistic expression and our need for social connection. The first, the annual Jazz Café night, in which the Sylvia Brose Hall was transformed into an intimate music venue, complete with soup, bread and the dulcet tones of various Glenaeon musical groups, provided an evening of deep appreciation for the opportunities our students enjoy and the power of music to lift the spirits. A very big thank you to every parent who supported this event. And of course, last Saturday night, the annual MidWinter Party delighted over 200 Glenaeon parents and carers who danced and talked the night away amidst a backdrop of funky disco tunes. Again, a huge thank you to the Class 7 parents who ‘hosted’ this event and the many parents and carers who donated time or items for the Silent Auction, and to everyone who attended – you rock!
Annual Giving Campaign
Finally, a reminder that the Annual Giving Campaign is still active, right up to the end of the financial year on June 30. This year, we are launching the Glenaeon Staff Innovation Fund, designed to support our staff in the pursuit of innovative projects and ideas that will inspire them and our school community to remain at the forefront of what is possible, now and into the future. You can read more about our Annual Giving Campaign here.
With very best wishes for a great weekend,