This has to be one of the best kept secrets this side of the Thames!
Last Saturday, as part of Open House 2013, I went to an open day at Radnor House School in Twickenham. It was fabulous, the school itself is a listed building adjoining Pope’s Grotto, however, it is the location, right by the river, that really wowed me, fantastic!
We started in the little café in the school with a cappuccino and a variety of wonderful cakes (made by the school chef ). This opened onto a lovely terrace right on the Thames with great views and where we could just sit, drinking coffee and watching the world go by. This is open to the students and parents as well as staff, aren’t they lucky?
We were shown around by the Head Master Mr Paton, who was accompanied by 2 students. I must mention Amy (I think that’s her name). I lost my husband somewhere along the way and she was incredibly helpful, escorting me back to the grotto, “in case I got lost in this place”, I can definitely see her being terribly organised later in life, she was so lovely!
Her helpful attitude started me thinking about what school children might consider as their strengths. I don’t just mean in school lessons, but as a person. You know, most people tend to put themselves down, telling themselves things like; “I’m not good/confident enough”, “No one likes me, I’m not popular”, “Classmates think I’m weird”, “I’m useless as sports”, etc..
This won’t help with confidence, will it? As a little exercise, right now, list all your good points and strengths, never mind about what others think, what do you think. So,for example, you might say: I’m polite, helpful to adults and schoolmates, I’m a good listener, I’m humorous, I don’t take myself too seriously, I enjoy my differences, I’m organised, I’m good at expressing myself, I’m considerate, I think deeply before making decisions, I’m gentle, I’m happy, I’m enthusiastic, a trier, etc.
You may not realise it, but all of the above are ‘soft skills’, that is, ‘people’ skills that we all need in life. They are often underestimated but are very valuable both in life and the work place, after all, think how important it is to be able to ‘get on’ with people, anywhere. They matter as much as academic achievements.
So what are your ‘soft skills’ and what would you possibly like to strengthen?
Let us know.