Flourishing@Wycombe: The Power of Kindness

I am afraid that I do, very much, love an acronym. I don’t know why but I do, and recently I heard one that resonated with me. It was from the MD of our catering company and he spoke of how they, as a company, had been exploring TNTs – Tiny Noticeable Things. The reason that this struck a chord was because we at Wycombe Abbey, have been focussing upon some tiny noticeable things and, in particular, the many acts of kindness that help gel our community together.

We recently marked Anti-bullying Week at School and one of the things that we focussed on was how we can act with kindness towards each other and where we see the kindness in others. Over the course of the past few weeks, pupils have been nominating their peers for buddy awards by recording the kind behaviours they have received from their friends and schoolmates. Miss Stevens and I have been busy reading through the many, many nominations. It has been wonderful to see how many acts of benevolence we see daily and how appreciative people are of both the little things that people do for each other, such as a friendly smile or a kind word, as well as the larger actions that pupils take to support each other. We also asked our teachers to act as “kindness spies”; recording acts of goodwill that they see around the school, there really are some gems, a favourite was from an Upper Sixth Form pupil who overheard a girl in Junior House talking about being homesick, she interrupted the conversation to give the younger pupil her contact details and arrange to take her for a hot chocolate. A simple, pure act of kindness with no other motive than doing the right thing!

As well as encouraging kindness we have been looking for ways to celebrate it and shine a light on its importance. In previous Anti-bullying Weeks, we have made posters and videos, but this year we scaled it up and made huge House banners out of bedsheets to record 100 kind deeds that we can perform in our Houses. These were hung around the walls of Big School in preparation for our School Meeting and were a powerful reminder to us all of what we can do. Congratulations go to Butler House for winning the prize for the best banner!  

Being kind to others is such a simple message, but it is the behaviour that helps bond people together, it can right wrongs and forge new friendships, it can bring joy to the giver and the receiver, and I hope that it is something that continues to be our focus as the year continues and beyond.

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Mr James Jones
Deputy Head (Pupils)

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