Last week, Caldicott observed a “Slow Day” where all boys and staff took time out to be a little more mindful about how they go about their daily movements. We live very busy lives and Caldicott is a very busy school with lots of activities to take part in.
Having a “Slow Day” readdressed the balance between busy and rushing. Rushing through the day can have negative impacts on the way we act and produce work. Being busy but mindful of what and why we are doing these activities can help us be more successful without burning out.
The day consisted of no school bells, a longer lunch where boys and staff learnt where the food that they were eating came from, one-minute time outs at the beginning of every lesson to cool down and reflect, and the courtyard was changed into a “calm zone” with benches for quiet reflection and discussion.
There was a great response from many boys and staff about how well they found the day, especially not having the school bells ringing. To this end, we have decided to undertake a trial period of reducing the number of times the school bells ring throughout the day.
In the evening, parents and boys had the opportunity to listen to two speakers who are champions of the slow movement, journalist Carl Honoré and from Eton College, Mike Grenier. They spoke to the audience about how they can use the slow movement in their own lives and embrace living a little less fast.
Below are a few comments from our teaching staff.
“It was great not having bells. It was more peaceful not to have them, especially when they interrupt the flow of a double lesson. Definitely helped with concentration.”
“The extra seating in the courtyard was great, it looked more inviting and made boys and staff not run and rush through.”
“It was lovely to see senior boys sitting in the courtyard at the end of break. They really embraced the time to talk.”
“My class loved having a quiet read instead of rushing with their work straight away. Beginning each class with slight meditation also helped.”