On Monday 3 December pupils and staff enjoyed participating in our annual Minerva Day. On this day we cancel the normal school timetable and everyone spends the day in a series of workshops which focus on different aspects of our Minerva philosophy.
We believe that our mission as educators is about more than helping people to get good exam results. Our goal is to help every one of our pupils build the emotional intelligence, resilience, compassion, self-knowledge and self-esteem that are so central to flourishing in their work and personal life. These character strengths have always been central to human flourishing, but many also argue that, as technology transforms how we live and work, they have become more vital than ever.
The whole Senior School and Sixth Form heard from Rebecca Morgan-Jones, a much-admired leader of resilience and well-being who took the year groups through a session to give them a set of tools to acknowledge negative/self-limiting inner-voices and be in a better position to not allow these to dominate their thinking.
Sheila Farmer is a former chaplain and spiritual director who brings ‘honesty, wisdom and warmth’ to spiritual workshops around the country. Sheila worked with Years 7, 9, 10, 12 & 13 in the chapel, teaching them about the meditation and discernment technique of walking a labyrinth in search of finding answers to questions they may have in their life.
Pupils in Years 7 to 11 enjoyed RAF Team Activities run by Mrs Hopper (with some assistance from the RAF and their equipment) undertaking a series of team challenges and games.
Year 7 were also given the opportunity to reflect on the importance of communication skills, this vital but under-examined area of their toolkit for personal success.
Pupils in Years 8 to 13 appreciated a powerful workshop hosted by Making Generation R, a charity who organise visits to schools by wounded armed services veterans to lead workshops on resilience.
The Carpenter’s Arms is a local Christian charity that helps men suffering from addiction issues. On Minerva Day the charity organisers and former addicts who have managed to resolve significant problems in their lives visited and spoke to pupils in Years 8, 11, 12 and 13.
Older students met with a female pilot who led a Q and A session on Resilience in High-Pressure Work Situations, discussing how to deal with significant pressure in the workplace with a particular focus on issues that may particularly affect women.
Younger pupils, in Years 7 and 8 joined a ‘data literacy’ session run by Peter Dean who works for the Advanced Technology Innovation Centre based at Loughborough University.
Everyone left the day with useful ideas and techniques to help them in the work and emotional challenges they face. Above all, it was great fun.